Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Shannondale"

See other formats


^SJfQ 

^*w\ 
&. A%r<L 




V 'f5*^ 6 

t^ 1 -^ .- :^- 




r^..^-/ 
w S 






\y 






ta 



of the 



pntfoemtg of 

by 

the Harris family 



SHANNONDALE. 






BY 



EMMA D. E. NEVITT SOUTHWORTH, 



AUTHOR OF "RETRIBUTION, OR THE VALE OF SHADOWS; 
"DESERTED WIFE," ETC. 



NEW-YORK: 

D APPLETON & COMPANY, 200 BROADWAY. 

,.% "PHILADELPHIA : 

GEOR&E* APPLETON, 164 CHESNTTT-8TREET. 
M DC C L I. 







Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, 
By D. APPLETON & COMPANY, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern 
District of New York. 






647714 



it. 



. 







TO 

CAPTAIN JOHN B. NEVITT, 

OF CLERMONT HALL, MISSISSIPPI, 

(fills 38nok i% Snarribrtl, 

AS AN EXPRESSION OF ESTEEM AND AFFECTION, 

BY HIS NIECE, 

THE AUTHOR 

NOVEMBER, 1850. 



SHANNONDALH. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE VALE OF SHANNONDALE. 

Oh, sparkling clear thy waters flow, 

And murmur as they glide, 
To the iair trees that bend below 

To kiss the loving tide; 
And far above the mountains stand, 
L ke waich lowers placed to guard a land 
Where all conspires to yield delight, 
Where pleasure reigns by day and night. 

Skannondale.'L. M. SMITH. 

The valley of the Shenandoah presents a suc- 
cession of the most various, sublime and beauti- 
ful landscapes in the world. The Shenandoah, 
which yet retains its ancient, beautiful, and 
poetic Indian name, springs among the magnifi- 
cent rocks of the Cyclopean towers. These 
towers, seven in number, rise to the height of 
several hundred feet, like the ruins of some stu- 
pendous ancient feudal castle, erected to guard 
the passes of this magnificent valley. Flowing 
on through a beautiful and fertile vale, hemmed 
in by mountains, and supposed to have been 
once the bed of an ancient lake with its high 
and rocky banks, the Shenandoah passes Weir's 
Cave, one of the greatest natural wonders in the 
new world, and quite worthy to be ranked, (says 
an English tourist) with the Natural -Bridge or 
Niagara, and equal in dimensions, and in the 
variety, beauty and sublimity of its objects, to 
the celebrated Grotto of Antiparos. Still flowing 
on, the .majestic river washes the Western pre- 
cipices of the Blue Ridge, forming in its serpen- 
tine course, islands and promontories, some high, 
barren and blasted, others covered with beauti- 
ful verdure or crowned with lofty trees. Yet 
flowing on, the mighty river, gathering force 
from every tributary, rushes with frightfully in- 
creasing power and rapidity to meet the Poto- 
mac, and with a god-like strength to rend a pas- 
sage through the mountains to the ocean. 

The stupendous sublimity of this awful scene 
was said by Thomas Jefferson to be worth a 
voyage across the Atlantic when a voyage 
across the ocean was an affair of sir months. 

But it is the Vale of Shannondale, the scene of 



my present romance of real life, that I wish to 
describe. A few miles below Harper's Ferry, 
the Blue Ridge makes a curve, hemming in a 
beautiful and fertile vale in the shape of a horse 
shoe, whose opening is on the South. Within 
the curve of the ridge, washing its base, and en- 
circling the vale, rushes the Shenandoah. From 
the river the ground rises gradually toward the 
South Ttiis lovely spot combines enchanting 
beauty with majestic sublimity. Hemmed in by 
lofty mountains, and encircled by a rushing 
river, shaded by groves of lofty trees, freshened 
by springs and fountains of sparkling water, fra- 
grant with millions of wild flowers, and musical 
with the voices of thousands of birds, it realizes 
the vision of the Rasselas' Happy Val'ey. 

Many years since., it does not matter how 
many, stood on this favored spot an ancient man- 
sion, one of the first erected in the valley of tne 
Shenandoah. 

The legend of its erection runs thus : In 
the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth, during 
the last persecution of the Catholics by that 
Princess, the head of a noble Catholic family in 
Wiltshire, England, emigrated to Virginia, The 
settlements were then all near the sea coast, or 
upon the banks of James River and the Rappa- 
hannock. All the country West, of the Blue 
Ridge was unknown. The valley oi Virginia 
was traversed by hordes of war-like savages, 
who sometimes crossed the mountains and made 
fearful and destructive descents upon the un- 
protected settlements, and whose very yells 
were a horror. Soon after his arrival, Lord 
Summerfield formed an exploring and hunting 
party, who purposed crossing the mountains to 
explore the country and to hunt the deer. 

This bearding the lions in their dens was an 
enterprise requiring great courage, prudence and 
fortitude. Lord Summerfield possessed all three 
in an eminent degree. He set out with his party 
fully equipped for several months exploring, 
fighting or hunting, and after many days of alter- 
nate travelling, sporting, skirmishing and rest, 
during which they had successfully evaded or 
repulsed the savages who would have interrupted 
their expedition, early in October they reached 
the sublime and beautiful Vale of Shannondale, 



SHANNONDALE. 



encircled by its sparkling river, and s'.ut in by 
its majestic mountains. Here astonished at the 
tupendous grandeur, fascinated by the charming 



gile looking human flower that ever bloomed its 
day in the parterres of a palace conservatory ! 
Expose her to a wilderness life! No! it was 



beauty of the landscape, delighted with the luxu- not to be thought of. So said Lady Northamp- 
riant fertility of the soil, and the exhilarating ' 
purity of the climate, Lord Summerfield stand- 
ing upon the lofty mountain on the North, and 



looking down upon this scene of wonderful 
beauty and grandeur, exclaimed, 

"This is a spot to dare and do for! Here I 
plant my family again ! here I pitch my tent ! 
Here will I live,' here die, and here be buried !" 

The party continued their hunting and explo- 
ring a few weeks longer, until the frosts and 
keen winds of winter warned them to return to 
the settlements, which they just reached by the 
Christmas festivities. 

Lord Summerfield was as good as his word. 
Immediately upon reaching home he commenced 
preparations for emigrating thither in the spring. 
His fellow colonists endeavored to dissuade him 
from so hazardous a purpose, but in vain, he 
icemed possessed with the Vale of Shannondale 
and neither the arguments or entreaties of his 
friends, present difficulty, toil, privation, or pro- 
spective danger and death could turn him from 
his purpose. He contrived to rescue enough 
from the wreck of his English estates to pur- 
chase the land from the savages, whose favor he 
conciliated by two, with them, all powerful 
means, namely by placing perfect confidence 
in them, in coming to live so far from the settle- 
ments, alone, among them, and by making them 
many useful and showy presents. He sent over 
an agent to England, where under pain of death 
he dared not return in person, to collect together 
the scattered remnants of his property, to pur- 
chase and ship to him bu'lding materials, house 
furniture, hunting and farming implements, and 
in short every thing that was needed to create a 
civilized home in the grand and beautiful wilder- 
ness upon which he had set his heart. Another 
mission he entrusted to his agent, a letter of ten- 
der farewell to his young and beautiful cousin 
and betrothed bride living in Wiltshire, at Long- 
ford Castle, under the care of her aunt, the 
Marchioness of Northampton. His letter was 
full of strength, tenderness and hopeful love. He 
bade her wait in patience and in confidence until 
he had made this wild and lovely vale " bloom 
and blo-som as the rose," until his house, his 
gardens, and hi* parks in the new world should 
equal in comfort and elegance her sumptuous re- 
sidence in the old one. Finally until the rapidly 
growing country should be sufficiently settled to 
make it a safe retreat for her. Then he said he 
would transplant his violet to the Vale of Shan- 
nondale. Could he indeed expect the beautiful, 
refined and cherished daughter of aristocratic 
wealth and luxury to join him in his wild hunting 
cabin. It never once entered his mind. 

Viola, of Summerfield ! the most fair and fra- 



ton when she had started Lord Summerfield to 
America ; and yet she was only thinking at that 
time of the settlement ! How much more dreadful, 
then, the idea, had it ever presented itself to her, 
of exposing Viola to the almost certainly fatal 
toils, privations and perils of the fearful moun- 
tain passes infested with savage beasts and more 
savage men. 

Viola, of Summerfield, was in her luxurious 
bower at Longford Castle, when the letter from 
her lover was placed in her hand. She caught 
it with a bound of joy it was the first time she 
had heard from him since his departure. She 
tore it open, and read it with a palpitating heart. 
Then her eyes filled and overflowed with tears. 
She folded it quietly up, and formed a resolu- 
tion. 

In the meantime, Lord Summerfield, upon the 
Rappahannock, was impatiently waiting the re- 
turn of the ship that was to bring out his cargo. 
The spring opened, and he had not heard from 
the vessel. At last, wishing to get a small gar- 
den under cultivation, that very season he set 
out on horseback, attended by two hired men, 
also mounted, for his valley estate, having left 
orders that his agent should land the cargo, and 
transport it in wagons to the spot selected for 
building. It was as early as the first of March 
when he set out, it was near the last of the 
same month that he found himself again in the 
Vale of Shannondale. Already the snows had 
melted off the mountains, and the young grass 
was springing in the valley, and the trees putting 
forth young buds in the forest. He went to 
work with his two men, and felled trees and 
built a cabin of logs as a temporary shelter. 
Then he began to hedge in a small garden, which 
the two men prepared for the seed. Every day 
as the spring advanced, revealed new beauties 
in the charming landscape, and increased the 
impatience of Lord Summerfield to add all the 
improvements of civilization and art to the 
loveliness and grandeur of nature. The air 
was populous with wild fowl, the forests filled 
with game, and the beautiful river alive with 
the finest fish. Coal, iron ore and red sand- 
stone, a beautiful material for building, abound- 
ed in the mountains, and springs of mineral wa- 
ter, the admirable medicinal qualities of which 
he was chemist enough to appreciate, were free- 
ly dispersed about th.p vale. Indeed, it seemed 
that nature, in a fit of extravagant liberality, 
had here lavished all her rarest and most costly 
treasures. " It was a land to die for!" And 
Lord Summerfield worked like a day -laborer on 
hire, to get it under cultivation, while he anx- 
iously expected his teams. 

At length, one evening in May, when all the 



SHANNON DALE. 



vale was bathed in a flood of golden sunlight, smiles, *od some with grave and earnest faces 



when the two men, Hiram and Peter, had pre- 
pared the evening repast under one of tue vast 
oak trees that dotted the vale, and Lord Suin- 
merfield was walking up and down the green 
slopes of the hill, now losing himself in contem- 
plating the beautiful river, with its fringe of 
trees, or gazing with awe upon the majestic 
mountains across its flood, or, turning back, 
rested his eyes upon the dim old forest, dark 
and green near, but floating off as it ascended 
behind, until the faint blue hues of the distant 
foliage blended with the azure of the far and 
cloud-capped mountains; and listening to the 
rustling of wings among leaves, as the birds 
fluttered to rest, or to the singing and chirp ng 
of all those tiny insects, the minstrels of the 
night, gay nocturnal serenaders, who always 
begin when the birds cease, and not till then ; 
or to the rushing sound of the waters, as they 
swept around the vale. How deep the solitude 
seem d ! how profound ! and how loud roared 
the current in the absence of other noises! But 
hark ! Taere comes a sound that is neither the 
rushing of waters, nor the flutter of birds, nor 
the chirping of insects, nor the waving of trees. 
Nearer, nearer it approaches. Lord Summer- 
field has stopped, and every sense is on the 
qui vive, as he looks and listens down the vale. 
For he thinks of a hostile tribe of Indians. It 
comes nearer and nearer it is it is the clatter 
of many horses' feet ! 

" The savages ! the savages ! fly, my lord ! 
fly!" exclaimed the two men, setting the exam- 
ple by taking to their heels. 

But Lord Summerfield kept his eagle eye fixed 
in the direction of the swiftly-coming horse- 
men. Tney emerge from the trees skirting the 
river they canter rapidly up the hill they are 
in sight oh, joy ! they are men of England ! 
they approach oh, rapture ! they are old 
friends and neighbors I Lord Summerfield has- 
tened dovn the hill to meet them and could 
this indeed be ? was this possible ? a fragile 
and fay-like figure rode among them her steed 
rushed upon him in an instant, with a cry of 
joy, she threw herself upon his bosom and 
Summerfield folded his own Viola palpitating 
with joy and exhaustion to his heart. Forgetful 
of the friends and neighbors whose sudden ap- 
pearance had filled his whole soul with joy an 
instant before, forgetful of everything on earth 
or in heaven but her, he pressed her again and 
again to his bosom, half-smothering her with 
passionate kisses, while she clung to him and 
sobbed for joy. She gave no explanation yet, 
and yet he asked no question. At last she 
raised herself from his breast, and blushing 
with sudden self-recollection, she whispered, 

" Welcome your friends!" 

Then the travellers dismounted and gathered 
around them, some with pleased and benevolent 



for it seemed piteous to see that fair, fragile 
girl alone among a band of hardy men, and to 
know that all their care could not save her from 
the inevitable hardships she had voluntarily ex- 
posed herself to. Lord Summerfield shook 
hands with all embraced many, and raised the 
hand of one among them in lowly reverence to. 
his lips. This one was Father White, a Catho- 
lic priest, the confessor of Viola. 

" No stories till after supper, friends," said 
Lord Summerfield, as, with Viola on his arm, he 
led the way up the hill. 

The travellers followed, each leading his horse. 
At the top of the hill, Lord Summerfield found 
the fugitive men returned, and engaged in pluck- 
ing more fowls to dress for this accession of 
company. 

" Where shall we put the lady to sleep, sir V 
asked Peter, seeing that there is but one room 
in the cabin, and that is your lordship's own." 

Lord Summerfield started at this question, and 
fell into deep thought. Supper was served, and 
the travellers made a hearty repast of birds, fish 
and wild fruits. After supper, Father White, 
taking Viola in his hand, joined Lord Summer- 
field, and said, 

" Now, my lord, if you are disposed, I am 
ready to give you a history of this unexpected 
emj[gration." 

Lord Summerfield bowed, and Father White 
was about to give his story, but the eyes of 
Viola were so eloquent, her lips half-apart, and 
so eager, that he smiled and said, 

" Well, go on, then, my daughter. Tell your 
story your own way," and withdrew. 

The fragile girl, sinking down upon the bank, 
drew Lord Summerfield to a seat by her side, 
and said, 

" Did you think, Harold, that /could be happy 
in the luxury and self-indulgence of my English 
home, while I knew you were alone in the wilds 
of the New World ? Oh, don't you know, Ha- 
rold, that I would have accompanied you when 
you came out, if it had not been for my aunt, 
and even yourself. You, even you, objected to 
taking me !" 

" My own darling, could I take advantage of 
your affection and your generosity, and expose 
you, delicate as you are, to all the evils of a sa- 
vage life ?" 

Ah, but Harold, you should have known 
you did know, by your own heart, that some 
mental pains, toils and privations are far harder 
to bear than physical ones and among them are 
partings, separation, prolonged absence from 
those we love, doubt, fear, suspense, anxiety for 
them. Harold! I could not bear this mental tor- 
ture ! Well, just before the receipt of your last 
letter, my Aunt Northampton sickened. She 
went to London in order to get speech of the 
Queen before she should breathe her last. She 



SHANNONDALE. 



reached the Villa on the Thames she succeeded 

in getting a private interview with the Queen, 

who cam*, at her request, to visit her. Some 

thing friihrml passed at that interview, 1 be 

lieve; at least my poor aunt died in great an 

guish soon after, and it is said that the Queen 

has never held up her head since. Well, Ha 

rold, I found myself mistress of my own fortune 

and person. As soon as I got over the shock 

and grief of my d^ar aunt's death, [ began to 

think of communicating the news to you. I ha( 

written a letter, and was waiting for a ship to 

carry it, when your letter arrived. I read it 

Harold, and I determined to put all my property 

in cash, and to join you in the wilderness ; dear 

Harold, were we not betrothed, and had 1 not a 

right to do so if 1 pleased ? I told some of my 

aunt's friends. They broke out against me as 

unwomanly, indelicate ; and, though I felt that 

it was not as they said, yet I feared., that you 

would think with them but, you do not, do 

you, Harold ? Do you think lightly of me for 

following you out here ?" 

" My blessed saint ! it were a blasphemy to 
think an evil thought of you!" exclaimed Lord 
Summerfield, fervently. 

"Oh, please do not say such extravagant 
things of me, dear Harold ! It mortifies me even 
more than reproof would because, alas ! I am 
so far from deserving commendation, still less 
praise." 

" You are beyond and above praise, my darling 
Viola go on with your narrative, dearest one." 
Well, Father White then had been ordered to 
quit England, under pain of death, within ten 
days ; I concealed him at Longford Castle ; he 
was there when your letter came ; 1 told him of 
my project to join you in America I asked his 
counsel and oh, Harold, I hung breathless upon 
the words of his reply, for I have unbounded 
confidence in his wisdom and goodness ; and if 
he had given his voice against my voyage per- 
haps, perhaps, Harold, I should not have come 
perhaps nothing but your own summons would 
then have brought me. But our reverend, and 
most beloved friend, approved my decision nay, 
he applauded it, and blessed me from the fullness 
of his joy, and told me that he would himself ac- 
company me to America. Well, Harold, Father 
White and myself had many consultations. He 
knew several of your friends, who, persecuted in 
England, wished to settle somewhere else. He 
held many secret conference* with them, the re- 
sult of which was, that we formed a party from 
our own neighborhood to come over, and here we 
all are. We would have announced our inten- 
tion, had any ship been leaving England for 
America ; but our own, in which we came, was 
really the first that, left of the season. So here 
we are, dear Harol-l your tenants, your friends, 



and your wife but oh, Harold I you do not 
blame me in your heart tor this ?" 

" My darling, darling girl, do you want me to 
be an idolater ; do you want me to fall at your 
feet and adore you ?" said Summertield, embra- 
cing her fondly. 

The purple shades of evening were approacning 
the stars were coming out one by one the 
dew was falling the travellers descended the 
hill to the spot where their wagons had been 
left, and some took out the tents, carried them 
up the hill, and pitched them, and . some turned 
the wagons down for sleeping places. During 
all this time Lord Summerfield and Viola sat 
under the old oak tree discoursing. The priest 
again stood before them 

" My children ! there must be a marriage here 
to-night ! do you not know it ? Have you not 
thought of it? I have been waiting to receive 
some communication upon the subject, and now 
I have to break the matter myself ; for well as 
you love each other, I do not believe you have 
thought of marriage this evening." 

That was true. They had thought of nothing. 
They were lost in the delight of merely meeting 
and talking with each other again. That was 
true, until now but now the priest's words sent 
an electric shock of ecstacy through every nerve 
of Summerfield, and threw the delicate Viola in- 
to a tremor of vague apprehension. Without a 
word, however, Summerfield arose, and raising 
Viola, and drawing her arm through his own, he 
requested Father White to summon his friends, 
and follow him into the cabin. 
Then and there they were married. 
They lived in the log cabin about the centre 
of the vale. The other settlers selected farms 
on the other side of the river, over the moun- 
tains, or back into the depth of the forest, which 
hey began to cut down. The beautiful Vale of 
Shannondale was left to the Summernelds. The 
iettlers did everything in their power to soften 
he hard lot the fragile Viola had taken upon 
lerself when she became the wife of a pioneer. 
As years passed, the bracing air and the fine 
water of the mountains, so invigorated Viola, 
hat from being an extremely delicate girl she 
was growing to be a fine robust woman. In the 
ourse of two years, a handsome and substantial 
iouse of red sand- stone was erected in the vale. 
?his house was furnished with far more taste 
nd elegance than usually appertained to the 
wellings of the early settlers. But one child, a 
andsome, hearty boy, named after his father, 
Harold, blessed this happy marriage, and from 
him were descended all the Summerfields, pro- 
prietors of the vale, until 17 , when it came 
into the hands of the last of that house. And 
this is the tradition of the early settlement of 
the Vale of Shannondale. 



SHANNONDALE. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE OLD RED STONE HOUSE. 

That dear old home ! 

Something of old ancestral pride it keeps. 
Though fallen from its early power and vastness, 
The sun light seems to their eyes brighter there 
Than wheresoever else. Mrs. Kemble. 

I love to make you familiar with the localities 
of our stories ; the grounds about which our peo- 
ple walked ; the house in which they dwelt ; the 
rooms in which they lived and loved, or sinned 
and suffered. 1 will strive to place Red-Stone 
Hall, the seat of the Summerfields at Shannon- 
dale, vividly before you. Pray assist me with 
your own attention and imagination. 

The house was situated about half-way up the 
gradually rising hill. Behind the house was the 
dark and grim old forest. Before the house, the 
ground, 'green with verdure, and dotted with 
groves of old forest trees, descended to the river, 
that, rushing around with a sweeping curve, 
forms the shape of a horse-shoe ; across the river 
tower the lofty mountains that shut in the 
vale. 

The house itself was built after the manner of 
most old Virginian mansions, with more massive 
strength than elegance ; more breadth than 
height, and with more respect to convenience 
than to appearances, and hence the result was, 
greater durability, comfort, and picturesque ef- 
fect, than order and regularity. It had been 
constructed of the rich and brilliant red sand- 
stone, found in the mountains. Its form was 
square and narrow, with a high-peaked roof 
its color, dark red. Its foundations had been 
laid broad, deep, and strong, and upon them were 
raised two stories, crowned by an attic, with dor- 
mor windows. 

It was surrounded by a low wall built also of 
red sand- stone ; in the centre of which, immedi- 
ately in front of the house, was an iron gate that 
opened upon a brick- paved road, shaded on each 
side by elm trees, and which led straight up to 
the front main entrance of the house, a substan- 
tial portico. 

This portico admitted into the wide passage 
that ran through the middle of the house, divi- 
ding it into equal parts. In the centre of the 
back of this passage was the staircase, with its 
broad and polished oak steps, and its balustrade* 
of mahogany, turning off in a scroll to the right 
and left of the bottom step. 

On the right of this passage was situated first 
the front drawing-room, whose windows looked 
out upon the river and the mountains, including 
the vale ; and behind that, the large saloon, only 
used for balls, &c., and whose back windows 
looked out upon the grim old pine forest behind 
the house. These rooms had been recently fit- 
ted up in handsome modern style. 



On the left of the passage was first the 
front parlor, whose windows commanded the 
same view with those of the front drawing- 
room ; next, the dining-room, and behind that, 
the comfortable family sitting-room ; it is to 
this apartment that I shall soon introduce you. 
The furniture of these rooms were old as the 
house itself. Behind the house, and connected 
with it by shaded piazzas, were wings ; that on 
the right containing the still-room, used for dis- 
tilling herbs, essences, &c., and for preparing 
cordials, bounces, domestic wines, &c. It was 
filled with closets, in which these domestic trea- 
sures were stowed away; the carding and 
spinning-room the weaving-room, &c. That 
on the left contained the pantry, the kitchen, 
the scullery, and the laundry. 

Scattered about in the forest, behind the house, 
were the cabins of the negroes, who worked the 
farm. 

At the time our story opens, the only repre- 
sentatives of the Summerfield family were Mrs. 
Margary Summerfield, the widow of Harold Har- 
dinge, the last of the Summerfields, and Imogene, 
her only child the heiress of that large estate. 
At this time Imogene Summerfield was finishing 
her education at the convent school of George- 
town. The August holidays were at hand when 
she was expected to leave school permanently, 
and great preparations were being made at Red- 
Stone Hall for her reception. It was in honor 
of this event that the drawing-room and saloon 
had been splendidly re-furnished. A ball and 
supper was to celebrate the coming out of the 
young and beautiful heiress of the once noble 
house of Summerfield. 

Mrs. Summerfield had invited a party of young 
people to Red-Stone Hall to welcome her daugh- 
ter upon her return home among them were her 
niece, Winifred Darling, the only daughter of 
her only brother, Squire Darling, of Oak Grove, 
with her companion or humble friend, Sinai 
Hinton, and Harriette Joy, the niece of the old 
priest, Father Burleigh, who for fifty years had 
ministered at the altar of the Catholic Chapel of 
the Sacred-Heart. 

This party of young people deserve farther 
notice than I have given them. First, Miss 
Darling, or Winny Darling as she was fondly 
called by her young friends, was the loveliest 
and most loving little creature that ever blessed 
a doting father's heart. 

She was his only child a love child, the 
child of his adored wife, who had given this 
angel life at the price of her own. 

Far back of the old hall at Oak Grove there 
was a marble monument it was the tomb of 
Angela Darling. 

Squire Darling had wished to name his little 
daughter after his lost angel, but his mother, 
Winifred Darling, with a good Catholic's care 
and caution, had the baby christened soon after 



s 



SHANNONDALE. 



her birth and before the bereaved husband had 
recovered frotn the stupor into which his sudden 
and terrible loss had stunned him, and without 
stopping to consult him, she had, as a matter of 
course, named the Oaby after herself, for it is a 
custom in Maryland and Virginia to name chil 
dr-n after grand-parents thus we have John, 
the son of Josepa, who was the son of John who 
was the son of Joseph, and so on. 

Vlrs. Winifred Darling was an aged widow, 

had but two children Squire Darling, of Oak 

Grove, her eldest, and Mrs Summerfield, of 

>tone Hall, her youngest; and but two 

grand-children, Wmny Darling and Imogene 

lertield. She divided her time between 

the two families living during the summer 

season at Red-Stone Hall, and during the winter 

at Oak Grove. They were a thoroughly united 

family. 

Wmny Darling had never been sent to school, 
her grandmother and her father never would 
consent to part with her. In those days in Vir- 
ginia and Maryland tutors were employed for 
the private instruction of young ladies who were 
educated at home. The custom of engaging go- 
vernesses had not then reached this section of 
the country. A tutor had been employed to con- 
duct the education of Miss Darling. 

The Virginians have exceedingly rigid notions 
of propriety ; it is not deemed proper for a 
young lady to take a solitary walk or ride even 
through her father's woods or over his hills 
and so when engaging the tutor, Madam Wini- 
fred insisted that it should be stipulated in 
the bond that he should attend Miss Darling in 
all her walks and rides. 

This was a precaution indeed not unnecessary, 
for the forest thickets and the mountain caverns 
were infested with a banditti then peculiar to 
this region fugitive slaves desperate men, 
who would watch and wait, descend upon the 
unguarded house, or the solitary traveller and 
commit any act of horrible atrocity to which 
necessity or inclination might drive them. In 
guarding against one species of danger, however, 
Madam Winifred exposed her grand-child to an- 
other. Think of it! a youth of humble parentage, 
who became a tutor in order to make money to 
complete his collegiate education, eighteen years 
old, handsome, intellectual, ardent, earnest, with 
his heart as yet unawakened from its child-sleep 
made the constant companion, the most con- 
stant companion of a girl of fifteen, an angel 
the very embodiment of love, in the morning 
ride, in thp forenoon studies, in the afternoon re- 
creation, in the evening walk. 

'Tis an old tale and often told," they Iwed 
it was inevitable f but they loved so purely, so 
highly, so spiritually, as yet, that not one word 
of love had passed the lips of either, and it might 
yet have been long, very long before their deli- 
cate affection would have betrayed itself, or 



alarmed the prudence of her haughty family, 
had not the serpent entered their paradise in the 
shape of 

Sinai Hinton. 

It is amazing how much evil is wrought by 
people of the best intentions." Madam Wini- 
fred had conceived it proper that instead of 
being sent to school Miss Darling should have a 
tutor at home. Next that instead of being suf- 
fered to roam at large like other young things, 
Miss Darling should have the tutor always at 
her side, with his graceful form, his glorious 
eyes, his deep-toned voice, and his eloquent 
words and last and worst as Winny approach- 
ed her sixteenth year, Madam Darling fulmina- 
ted a bull that Miss Darling must have a fe- 
male companion, and Sinai Hinton, a distant re- 
lative of the family, was engaged to come and 
stay at Oak Grove. If there be any truth in the 
old heathen idea of the transmigration of souls 
Sinai or Sina Hinton's soul had ascended the 
scale of creation, first through the subtile nar- 
cotic poisons, then through the snake, the jay 
bird, the cat, and had at last reached its most 
powerful development in Sina Hinton. This 
fascinating, guileful and intriguing girl was not 
strictly speaking handsome she was below the 
middle size, her figure rather bony, her com- 
plexion dark, and her features strongly marked. 
Her hair and brows were black, and her eyes 
large, dark and powerful in their force of attrac- 
tion. Her movements were exceedingly grace- 
ful. Is there any thing more graceful than the 
motion of a cat so smooth, swift and stealthy ? 
or that of a serpent with its rapid beautiful and 
dazzling undulation ? Her movements were ex- 
ceedingly graceful, but a close student of nature 
might have observed in them the subtlety of the 
snake and the trickery of a cat. 

On leaving her city home her mother had said 
to her, 

You go out alone into the world, Sina ! you 
have nothing but your cleverness to carve your 
fortune with, but you can do it!" 

If I were beautiful I could," said Sina. 

" You have fine eyes, and a woman with a 
fine pair of eyes can produce the effect of beauty, 
or she can manufacture any other beauty." 

" But what can a girl do with such a catas- 
trophe of a nose as 1 have ?" laughed Sina. 

" When you converse with people make them 
look at your eyes and they will forget your nose 
it is your ey es t your eyes and your soft, slo w tones, 
and your grace that must make your fortune !" 

Sina laughed she laughed to think how much 
more deeply skilled she was in such art through 
her mere natural instincts than the mother who 
advised her. Such was the companion selected 
for the beautiful, affectionate and confiding Win- 
ny. And accord ngly some short time previous 
to the commencement of our story she had ar- 
rived at Oak Grove. 



SHANNONDALE. 



9 



Oak Grove was a fine old baronial -look ing 
residence. The hall stood in the midst of a 
grove of gigantic forest oaks, which gave their 
name to the homestead. There was no under- 
growth, and the gass was green and smooth as 
velvet so that even in the Autumn the deep 
shade of the magnificent trees was healthful as 
pleasant. Fine orchards, fine gardens, and well 
cultivated fields, surrounded Oak Grove. The 
estate was the best stocked with cattle in the 
whole country while a stable of thorough-bred 
and well-trained horses and a kennel of the 
finest hounds formed the delight of the squire. 

The cabins of the negroes who worked the 
plantation were apart by themselves, in a green 
glen. The little houses were built ten on each 
side of the road, thus forming a street. They 
were all uniform, painted white, and with one 
door between two windows in front, painted red. 
Each had its little garden behind, and its apple, 
pear, or peach tree shading in front. At the 
head of this street, crossing it at right angles 
and facing down it, was the overseer's house. 
This was also white with red doors and win- 
dow-shutters but it was larger and more com- 
modious than the others, and it had a piazza and 
a flower-yard in front, and a larger garden be- 
hind. The overseer was an old colored man, an 
attached servant of the family, whose father and 
grandfather had belonged to the Darlings. Like 
most other Virginia negroes he had assumed his 
master's family name, and called himself Squire 
Darling. His baptismal name was Achilles, but 
the family called him Uncle Kill. From sun- 
rise to sunset, except two hours for breakfast 
and two hours for dinner, Uncle Kill's duties of 
overseer kept him in the field, where he was a 
perfect bug-a-boo to a lazy hand. The rest of 
the time Uncle Kill preached the Gospel, played 
the fiddle, told fortunes, tracked the coon, or 
made himself otherwise useful or agreeable. 
Uncle Kill had a wife near his own age, called 
Minerva, but whose celestial name, the bad 
taste of the household had be-devilled as it had 
that of her lord, Achilles. They called her 
" Nerve." And this was no misnomer, she 
was a woman of great nervous energy. (It is a 
pity, by the way, that this word " nervous," in 
the same relations, expresses such opposite 
meanings for the laborer's < nervous limbs," 
means his great strong powerful legs and arms ; 
while Miss Fanny Faintaway's "nervous limbs" 
means her weak, trembling, ailing, fainting 
members.) Nerve was a woman of strong body, 
strong affections, strong opinions, and strong 
methods of expressing them strong will, and a 
strong way of expressing it. Nerve's office on 
the plantation, was a general supervision of the 
spinning, weaving, knitting and other women's 
work ; and she was as efficient in her way, as 
Uncle Kill was in his. 

When Sina Hinton arrived at Oak Grove, the 



fine old hall, the grand old forest-trees, the 
wealth of the estate with its negroes, its fields, 
gardens, orchards, and stock of every descrip- 
tion, excited her admiration and provoked her 
envy admiration of the estate, envy of its 
heiress. Such a set of feelings could not arise in 
a strong, subtile, and unprincipled nature like 
hers, without sooner or later becoming the mas- 
ter motives of her actions. She watched the 
favorable points of her position, and resolved to 
take the greatest advantage of every one. For 
Why should this silly, simpering, cooing little 
fool have all this great plantation, and 7, her 
cousin, have none ?" she said. The respect with 
which she was treated by Madam Winifred and 
the squire the affectionate confidence reposed 
in her by Winny, the esteem she had won from 
the tutor, all were available for her purpose, and 
most of all was the deep unspoken love that her 
keen subtilty perceived to exist between Edgar 
Ardenne, the tutor, and Winny Darling. If 
this foolish attachment should provoke her fa- 
ther to disinherit her at least the chance is not 
bad. The very fervor of her father's love for 
Winny, if that love were abandoned for a passion 
for another, and outraged by disobedience in 
marrying that other against his consent yes ! 
the very love of her father turned to wrath, 
would drive him to disown the ingrate daughter. 
But the fools of lovers are so slow, they would 
content themselves with their present life ten 
years yet, and never take another step unless 
something happened to rouse up opposition! 
That I know would soon kindle their deep, 
calm love deep and calm as the depths of the 
sea before a storm into a passion! into a tem- 
pest ! I must put my shoulder to this wheel !" 

When a good heart and a strong mind deter- 
mine upon a good act the angels assist that soul 
with an opportunity. When a bad man or wo- 
man with the necessary strength of will resolve 
upon any evil end, the devil is faithful to supply 
the means. 

Sina Hinton had arrived in July. It was the 
latter part of the month that Miss Darling and 
herself were invited to make a visit to Red- 
Stone Hall, to be there to welcome Miss Sum- 
merfield, the cousin of the latter, to her home. 

The distance from Oak Grove to Red-Stone 
Hall was fifteen miles ; but with their fleet 
horses the Oak Grove family frequently rode it 
early fh the morning, dined, supped, and re- 
turned in the evening ; sometimes by moonlight 
or starlight ; and nothing could be more delight- 
ful than those fine night rides through the fresh, 
green, dark forest, after the heat of an oppres- 
sive Summer day. 

Winny and Edgar Ardenne always fell into 
silence into delicious reverie, while riding side 
by side through the dim uncertain forest path 
they needed not the medium of words to com- 
mune there. It was a delightful ride the fresh- 



10 



S H A N N O N D A L E. 



ness of the evening breeze the brightness of the 
wonderful stars the vague, romantic dimness o 
the forest aisles all conspired to refresh the 
nerves and inspire the minds. 

Sina Hinton, the astute girl, had noticed the 
effect of these forest night rides and she always 
took care to drop behind or ride on before, ma 
king the excuse that the path was not wide 
enough for three equestrians -and thus she 
would give the lovers every opportunity of im- 
proving the romance, and yielding to the tempta- 
tion of the hour. It was in vain though as yet 
their affection was too childlike, too simple, con- 
fiding and happy, to inspire the wish for a 
change. And it was this that made Sina Hinton 
exclaim in her vexation against the apathy of 
the lovers. 

It was this that made her resolve to bring 
about a denoament. 

It turned out to be a very sultry day, that upon 
which Miss Darling had intended to set out for 
Red-Stone Hall. Miss Hinton proposed that they 
should defer it until evening, and take the ride 
through the forest by starlight. This was 
agreed upon and accordingly, after tea Winny 
kissed her grandmother, who promised soon to 
join her at Shannondale, and kissed her father, 
who pledged his word to follow the next day, 
and went down to the quarters and took an af- 
fectionate leave of her " old women," as she 
called all the superannuated negresses whose 
comfort was her peculiar care and accompa- 
nied by Sina Hinton and attended by Edgar 
Ardenne, set out for her ride. Sina Hinton drop- 
ped behind as usual ; and again as usual the 
child-like lovers dropped into a reverie, broken 
only by low toned observations by one of them 
and a soft assent by the other ! They reached 
the Vale of Shannondale and Red-Stone Hall by 
ten o'clock and there they found assembled 
Father Burleigh,the aged priest, her niece, Har- 
riette or Harry Joy, and lastly, Colonel Henry 
Lee Dungerfield, a relation of the Summerfield 
family, and the owner of the largest estate in 
the neighborhood. He was an officer of the 
army, who had distinguished himself in the re- 
cent war of the Revolution and had now return- 
> private life covered with military glory. 
Miss Summerfield had been betrothed to him 
ever since she was an infant and he a lad. She 
had grown in beauty by his side, and he had 
loved her in a gentle^ domestic way, and was ac- 
customed to think of her as his future wife. She 
had left home at fifteen years of age, and he had 
not teen her for three years. He had as a mat- 
ter of course been invited to Red-Stone Hall to 
welcome her. Mrs. Snmmerfield, leaving a re- 
quest that Miss Hinton would do the honors of 
the house during h^r absence, had departed for 
the Georgetown Convent, to bring home her 
daughter the day before. She was expected home 
that evening. Hence the presence of the com- 



pany. Mrs. Summerfield had gone in her own 
carriage, attended by her own servants. There- 
fore the precise hour of her return was uncer- 
tainbut ten o'clock struck, and she had not 
come ; eleven struck, and still no sound of car- 
riage wheels disturbed the silence; at twelve 
o'clock the company gave her up for the night, 
and retired to bed. The next night was the 
time appointed for the grand ball that was to 
celebrate Miss Summerfield's coming out. 



CHAPTER III. 

IMOGENS SUMMERFIELD. 

She was a Catholic, too, sincere, austere, 
As far as her own gentle heart allowed, 

And deemed that fallen worship far more dear 
Because 'twas fallen ; her sires were proud 

Of deeds and days when they had filled the ear 
Of nations, and had never bent or bowed 
To novel power ; and as she was the last, 
She held their old faith and old feelings fast. 

Byron. 

Early the next morning the guests assembled 
at Shannondale, met in the piazza that right 
hand front piazza that commanded the slope of 
the grove-shaded hill as it rolled to the river, of 
the rushing circular sweep of the river, and of the 
surrounding towering mountains. Right across 
the river, opposite to them, was the Lover's 
Leap a bold perpendicular rock, with a wild 
Indian legend connected with it. 

" Who knows the story ?" inquired. Sina Hin- 
ton. 

Every one knows it, but no one tells it but 
Father Burleigh, and he never tells it in any other 
place but the summit of the rock," replied Col. 
Lee Dangerfield. 

Sina Hinton sauntered, swayed and undulated 
up to the side of Father Burleigh, and said in 
her mellifluous, coaxing tones 

Oh ! Father Burleigh, will you not form a 
party over to Lover's Leap to-day and tell the 
story ? I do so love those wild legends and I 
should so delight to get a view of this vale from 
that prominence." 

Father Burleigh was about to decline, upon 
:he score of his infirmities and the fatigue of as- 
cending the hill, but Sina's large, dark, pleading 
eyes were fixed on his own, and there was no 
resisting them. He said that he would do so 
with pleasure," if it were agreeable to the rest 
of the company. 

" Of course it will be agreeable to the rest of 
he party," exclaimed Harriette Joy. "Let us 
go, uncle ; Mrs. and Miss Summerfield will not 
be here till night now, and I want a good oppor- 
unity for a sentimental flirtation with I know 
who!" 

" Will you never be steady, Harry never de- 
port yourself like a lady," whispered the priest. 



SHANNONDALE. 



Never while you abbreviate my pretty na 
of Harriette to Harry ! It makes me feel like 
a boy !" laughed Harriette, as she placed a 
straw hat jauntily upon her head ; and in fact with 
her roguish bfack eyes, laughing lips, and clus- 
tering curls, her mirthful countenance, half in 
dark shadow from the rim of the hat, half in 
light from the kissing of the sunshine, Harry Joy 
looked like a saucy a very saucy boy, and no- 
thing else. 

I could fall desperately in love with that 
little imp !" mused Colonel Lee Dangerfield, as 
he leaned against a pillar of the. piazza and con- 
templated Harry " she has just eccentricity 
enough to bewilder all one's senses ; but this will 
not do. I must take my eyes off." 

But taking his eyes off and keeping his eyes 
off the handsome swaggering hoyden was not so 
easy he disapproved of Harry from his soul- 
he was sorely dissatisfied with himself at the 
anomaly of the very peculiarities he so thorough- 
ly contemned, attracting him most forcibly. 
Harry was the priest's niece that was her pass- 
port into good society otherwise she was poor, 
uneducated, rather rude, but withal possessing 
a hearty, joyous, genial nature, that made her 
the soul of any frolic that was afoot. 

" You must excuse her, gentlemen ! You must 
excuse her," said the priest, "she has never had 
the benefit of female culture, and a single man, 
even. a priest, is unfit to bring up a girl." 

u Well, then, uncle, that proves the evil of 
your clerical celibacy ! You ought to have got 
married like an honest member of society, and 
then I should have been your daughter and not 
your niece !" speaking to the priest, but letting 
fly a couple of arrows from her dark eyes at 
Colonel Lee Dangerfield. 

The priest started, grew pale, looked search- 
ingly, steadily, severely into the face of his niece, 
but Harry's eyes ~/ere dancing with those of 
Colonel Lee Dangerfield, and she seemed to have 
forgotten her light words. A bitter, bitter 
groan, suppressed at the lips, murmured deep 
down the bosom of the old priest, and he fell 
into a deep gloom. He checked Harry's rude- 
ness no more that morning. 

Miss Summerfield, of Red-Stone Hall, will 
have to watch her betrothed," said Sina Hinton, 
to herself Sina Hinton always spoke truth when 
she spoke to herself, and seldom at any other 
time ; " and Harriette Joy is as much the niece 
of the priest as I am the nephew of my mother ! 
I have your secret, Father Burleigh, and that is 
another favorable point in my destiny so much 
for keeping my eyes open." 

Overflowing with exuberant life, Harry Joy 
had whirligigged out of the piazza, and Col. 
Lee Dangerfield was about to follow, when the 
sound of carriage wheels were heard below, and 
soon the travelling chariot of Mrs. Summerfield 
rolled slowly up the hill, approached and paused 



before the portico. The gentlemen present 
sprung down the steps to meet and assist the 
ladies from the carriage! Mrs Summerfield 
came first a tall, dark complexion ed, and dig- 
nified woman, in the prime of life, and in the 
rich maturity of matronly beauty. She alighted 
and stepped forward xvitb. a Queen-like air of 
blended majesty and graciousness. 

" What a magnificent woman is Mrs. Sum- 
merfield ! a step like a reindeer's, a neck like 
a swan's, an eye like an eagle's, a mien 
like a monarch's! Heavens! if I had a form 
and face like that, I could do what I pleased 
with it ! but Imogene Miss Summerfield the 
.heiress ! let's see what she is like !" comment- 
ed Sina Hinton, as she watched the carriage door. 

Miss Summerfield alighted, and passed quickly 
through the hall, and entered the house her 
figure muffled in a large black silk shawl ; her 
face hidden by a black lace veil. 

She is either ugly or very beautiful. She is 
either ashamed of her face, or she saves it for a 
dazzling effect in full dress, now, which is it? 
They say she was beautiful when she left, home 
for school but girls change so much as they 
grow up, the ugly frequently growing handsome 
the beautiful as often becoming plain. Woe 
for her if she has not beauty enough to counter- 
charm the spell woven around the heart of her 
betrothed ! This is a nice set of cross purposes 
as ever I saw ! Col. Lee Dangerfield betrothed 
to Miss Summerfield,' and in love with Harry 
whom he would never marry ! Harry passion- 
ately in love with him Winny Darling loving 
unconsciously, pensive Edgar Ardenne Ardenne 
enamored of her ! Satan has some use for me 
here, I trow ! and it is a pity if I do not make 
something of this medley." 

All the guests were waiting impatiently for 
the breakfast-bell to ring, when they should 
meet at table the heiress of Red-Stone Hall, in 
whose honor they were assembled. The music 
their ears so thirsted for, at last sounded on the 
air, and each gentleman selecting a lady, the 
company marched into the breakfast-room. At 
the head of the table appeared Mrs. Summer- 
field, who had changed her dress, but nowhere 
visible was the heiress. Mrs. Summerfield 
gracefully invited her guests to be seated, and 
apologized for the non-appearance of Miss Sum- 
merfield that morning, by saying that her daugh- 
ter was greatly fatigued. She also explained 
the cause of their not Arriving the evening be- 
fore, by remarking that Miss Summerfield had 
been too much exhausted by the first two stages 
of their journey, to be able to pursue it. further 
than Harper's Ferry, where they had rested the 
preceding evening ; and bowing gracefully, she 
sat down. 

" We hope, madam, that Miss Summerfield 
will be sufficiently restored to join us at. dinner," 
remarked Col. Lee Dangerfield. 



SHANNONDALE- 



Summerfield cannot have the pleasure 
01 m -ti, | bn irif.-.-s until the evening," replied 
the la''v And then the morning meal com- 
ment 

Ir wai a breakfast set out with magnificence 
gold an : silvt- r plate, and Sevres China flashing 
in the light ; and alt th*> superabundant luxuries 
of the spot and season abounding The finest 
milk, cream, butter, and eggs, for the dairy and 
poultry-yards of Shannondale were unrivalled 
fresh fish from the Sbenandoah, game from the 
forest, and wild fowl Irom the air, c., &c-, &c. 

After breakfast the party formed for Lover's 
Leap. The horses were brought to the door. 
The party mounted, and cantered off down the 
hill to the river a ferry boat took them across 
and they began to ascend the opposite moun- 
tain by a circuitous back path. 

Sina Hinton,-contrary to her usual custom, 
kept near Miss Darling. " What a venerable 
looking man is Father Burleigh, my love," she 
said to Winny, " with his silver hair, and reve- 
rend countenance, he reminds me what St. Paul 
might have been in his old age." 

"Yes! dear Father Burleigh! but J am so 
orry tbar he is so infirm! What a pity it is 
that people we love should grow old and become 
infirm." 

" A*-, but he approaches a better and a hap- 
pier world," replied Miss Hinton, in the usual 
stereotyped words. 

" Yes, r <ut we don't want any better or hap- 
pier world than this. If the Lord would please 
to let us, 1 should like to live a hundred million 
of centuries, on this very earth, with all my 
dear friends around me, and would never, never, 
twtw want to see Heaven !" 

< Oh, tnat is very wicked, my dear but to re- 
turn to Father Burleigh he has been here a 
long time !" 

" Futv years last January, they say he was 
here as sacristan first of all then here he was 
ordained, and he has lived here ever since." 

Hum-m-m," cooed Sina in a reverie "well 
ah how long has his lovely niece been with 
him?" 

"Harry?" 

" Of course he has no other, has he?" 

" Oh ! no ! but then you called her lovely,' 
which was so funny ; well, she has been with 
him ever since she was two years old before I 
can remember." 

"Yea! who is she?* Where did she come 
fron 

<< Well, she is the daughter of his deceased 
siiur or somebody, and he brought her from 
away down in Maryland somewhere." 

" Has Father Barleigh always remained here, 
and nevrr been abroad ?" 

once ; he was away two years, down 
on thp Cheapeake near the old station of Mount 
Carmel, in Maryland. It was a year after his 



return to this neighborhood, that he received a 
notice of his sister's death, and he went and 
fetched home her child, Harriette, and he put | 
her in charge of his housekeeper ; she has been 
with him many years, and now keeps house for 
him." 

" Um-m-hum-m," again murmured Sina; then 
she suddenly inquired " How old is Father 
Burleigh ? quite aged, isn't he ?" 

" Oh, yes ! very, very, old almost seventy." 

Is it possible !" exclaimed Miss Hinton, with 
surprise. 

" Yes ! is not. that old ?" 

Sina smiled. 

" Why, my dear, 1 supposed him to be eighty 
he looks that. I could not make some 
things out either at that rate but, my little 
love, how old is his niece?" 

" Harry Joy is twenty-five but few take her 
to be so old ; many people think her about 
twenty." 

" U-m-m-m," replied 'Sina. 

I wish I could give the reader an idea of the low, 
slow, cooing murmur with which that (J-m 
m-me," was floated out. It was one of Sina's 
fascinations it expressed besides an affirmative, 
love, sympathy, comfort, consolation only Sina 
was so fond of it, that she used it in place, and 
as now, out of place always instead of yes 
like her undulating motion, it was a characteris- 
tic of her. 

" You may ride on, now, love, and join Ar- 
denne, who is waiting for us at the summit. I 
must stop here to arrange my habit a little" 
and Winny, without hesitation, ambled forward 
to join her tutor. 

The party dismounted at the summit of the 
mountain, and walked forward through a tangled 
thicket of stunted pines and cedars, and over 
jagged rocks, to the front of the precipice, where 
the lover's rock ascended in a bold perpendicu- 
lar from the river. They seated themselves upon 
the flat rocks upon its top, the priest occupying 
the central seat. The view from this summit 
was sublime, bordering upon the terrific- Be- 
kind them was the thicket of stunted pines and 
cedars that finding scant root among the rocks, 
crowned the mountain. Before them was the 
grand amphitheatre of Shannondale, encompassed 
on three sides with a crescent-shaped ridge of 
mountains the centre of the crescent being 
Lover's Leap. Below them, at the distance of 
several hundred feet, rushed the rapid Shenan- 
doah, filling up the pauses in the conversation 
with its roar 5 the vale rising from its banks 
rolled off in green undulations shaded with 
groves of trees, towards the forest in the back 
ground. Half way up the ascent stood old Red- 
Stone Hall, surrounded with its aged ancestral 
trees. 

" Do not stand too near the edge of the preci- 
pice, Miss Harriette. It shelves over consider- 



S H A N N O N D A L E. 



13 



ably. Do not look down, Miss Darling, you may 
grow giddy and fall," wem the warnings given, 
as the ladies arose to take the views. 

It was necessary to owe, Winny Darling 
grew pale and reeled away from the^ edge ; the 
tutor caught her arm. But Harry Joy, with a 
glad, exultant spring, stood upon the extreme 
edge of the shelving and frightful precipice, and 
throwing up her arms as if for a leap. Winny 
screamed. Harriette laughed, and spruig back- 
wards, again seating herself, and then Miss Hin 
ton, turning to the priest, said, 

" Now, Father, for the Legend of the Lo- 
ver's Leap.' " 

The old priest bowed himself to the company, 
and began his tale. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE LEGEND OF THE LOVER'S LEAP. 

Thus lived thus died she ; never more on her 
Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made 

Through years, or moons, the inner weight to bear, 
Which colder hearts endure till they are laid 

By age in earth ; her days and pleasures were 
Brief, but delightful ; such as had not stayed 

Long with her de?tmy ; but she sleeps well 

Beneath the stream near which she loved to dwell. 

Byron. 

Many, very many years ago, when this property 
was in the hands of Bushrod Summerfield, the 
grandson of Lord Summertield, the first settler, 
there came to this part of the country a young 
Englishman of high rank, and of great wealth. 
He was a Colonel in the Hussars, from inclina- 
tion to a martial life, rather than from the 
necessity of entering the profession. He is said 
to have been a very handsome man, of tall and 
commanding stature, with high Roman features, 
fired by the light of a falcon eye, and softened 
by an abundance of raven ringlets. His manner 
his gestures the tones of his voice possessed 
that marvellous fascination, that compelled the 
love the adoration of all who knew him. Colo- 
nel Clinton had come out only to see the coun- 
try, at the invitation of Bushrod Summerfield, 
who, having been sent to England for educa 
tion, had formed an acquaintance with Clinton | 
at Oxford. 

Of course. Colonel Clinton became the guest 
of Squire Summerfield. At this period, a rem- 
nant of the tribe of Shenandoah Indians dwelt 
on the other side of the mountains, with their 
wandering mode of life. They had a reserved 
privilege of fishing at a certain place in their 
own ancestral river. The head of this tribe 
was a woman Lulu, the daughter of the great 
chief, Worneo-at-akuk. 

" But I did not know that a woman ever 
reigned over an Indian tribe I thought their 
2 



women were generally degraded," said Sma 
Hinton. 

" They are, generally, but not universally, 
and not so much formerly as now. We see by 
the chronicles of the early settlement of the 
country, that the custom prevailed to some ex- 
tent Lulu was a grand, wild forest girl, of that 
dark, rich, luxurious style of beauty never seen 
in the most beautiful of the Caucasian race : 
her form was tall and majestic, but beautifully 
proportioned a small, but regal head, an arched 
and undulating neck, a fine, high breast, 
rounded limbs, tapering towards the delicate 
wrists and ankles, and small and elegantly sha- 
ped feet and hands ; such her form. Her fea- 
tures were of the Jewess style her complexion 
was dark, but singularly clear, and deepened 
into a rich crimson in the rounded cheeks and 
full and arched lips Her eyes were large and 
dark, full of liquid fire fierce am* soft, as anger 
or tenderness possessed her ; her eyebrows were 
very black and heavy, her eyelashes long, thick 
and black, and her hair rolled in shining waves 
of purplish black nearly to her feet. She usually 
wore a superb dress of fine scarlet cloth, richly 
and beautifully embroidered with various colored 
beads, silks, and gold and silver threads, and 
fringed with variegated leathers. Her dre-s 
was short, and confined to her waist by a belt, 
in which were stuck one or two elegantly- 
wrought poignards, (purchased from the white 
settlers.) Her neck, arms and legs were bare ; 
three or four rows of bright beads decked her 
throat, and heavy gold and silver bracelets en- 
circled her wrists and ankles. Her purplish 
locks, twined with many a gem, hung far below 
her waist. The fame of the wondrous beauty 
of the Queen ol the Shenandoahs had gone all 
over the whole settlement ; and by the braves of 
her own tribe, the beautiful Lulu was loved, 
adored, worshipped as a goddess, with all the 
wild enthusiasm of savage idolatry. Her hand 
had been sought in marriage by the chiefs of 
other tribes, but Lulu had never felt a throb of 
love. She seemed something set apart and sa- 
cred, the vestal Queen rejected all these offers, 
with proud and high disdain. 

One day there was a great hunt upon the moun- 
tains; Squire Summerfield and Colonel Clinton 
joined in it. The fox, after running a circuit of thir- 
ty miles, closely pursued by the hounds and hun- 
ters, of whom the gallant Colonel Clinton ivas the 
foremost, fled towards the river, took this direc- 
tion through the thicket, straight to this precipice, 
madly followed by Colonel Clinton, on his spi- 
rited horse. The fox sprang to the edge of the 
precipice, paused, took breath, gave one fearful 
look around, when Colonel Clinton, on his fiery 
horse, came thundering on, and took the leap 
the fierce horse of the hunter, in the delirium of 
the chase, sped madly on, and sprang over after 
the quarry ! The hounds had started, and stop- 



14 



SHANNONDALE- 



ped short at the brink of the precipice, and now 
they set up a tearful wail Other hunters rode 
up, but seeing n sijjns of a catastrophe, suspect- 
ed none, siij.posii'g tbut Colonel Clinton had, upon 
losing the quarry, taken another road. 

Colonel Clinton's brain had reeled and he had 
lost his sense* at the moment the fearful leap 
was taken when he recovered them he found 
himself lying on a pallet of delic%te furs, in a tent 
hung on the inside with fine yellow cloth richly 
embroidered with silver thread. The setting 
san was pouring a flood of golden light through 
the opening into the tent, which bathed the dark, 
bright, glorious form of the Indian queen who 
stood in its full blaze. Colonel Clinton strove to 
collect" his thoughts. It was some time before 
he could recollect what had happened. At last 
he did ; and then beckoning to the dark beauty, 
who immediately approached him, he baid 

" I know what has occurred. I guess where I 
am but by what miracle was 1 saved V 

The Queen of the Shenandoahs replied in bro- 
ken English " broken music' 1 that her braves 
were out upon the river in their canoes fishing : 
that they had seen the fatal leap that the horse 
was dashed to pieces at the foot of the precipice, 
but that he had been caught between the strong 
forks of a projecting tree a few feet from the 
summit that her braves had climbed the rock, 
rescued him, and brought him to their encamp- 
ment. Clinton found that both his arms had been 
broken by the fall, but that they were set, splin- 
tered, and bound up with great skill, also, that his 
body was severely bruised. But Clinton thought 
not of his wounds and bruises his whole soul was 
flooded with an excess of glory and of beauty 
that he could scarcely bear and live languid, 
prostrate and helpless as he was, the approach 
of the dark, bright, luxurious Indian beauty, 
threw all his senses into a delirium of excite- 
ment that threatened the stability of his reason. 
He recovered rapidly, but he had no wish to quit 
his quarters. Heedless of the anxieties of his 
friends, he avoided informing them of his where- 
abouts, lest they should disturb him in his delici- 
ous life of blended ecbtacy and anguish. You 
will anticipate the result. He, with his glorious 
beauty, grace and eloquence wooed and won the 
fierce and beautiful forest queen. 

Ah, the tigress grew as gentle as the doe the 
queten became the slave ! Her warriors saw with 
a fierce and bitter jealousy the growing weak- 
ness of their queen the discrowning of their 
goddeps. They assembled round their council 
fires and talked they went to her and expostu- 
lated in vain! in vain! She did not heed or 
even hear them ! her soul was absorbed in one 
idea one life ! her senses all bound up in one 
ecstatic trance ! They met again in council, and 
after a deliberate, long talk they decided that the 
white intruder bhould leave their encampment 
within twenty-four hours at the peril of his life. 



Tnis decision was conveyed to Clinton the same 
evening. He assented very calmly. And she! 
she left her Indian crown she left her glorious 
heritage of independence, of love, of worship, 
and of power, and followed like a slave the 
foot-steps of her chosen master when he bade 
her follow! A hut in the depths of the forest 
received the English officer and his Indian mis- 
tress. He supplied his wants and here by hunt- 
ing and fishing. She cooked his meals and serv- 
ed him fondly. This you know could not last 
long the highly educated, highly accomplished, 
elegant and fastidious Reginald Clinton, the 
flower of the young English aristocracy, could 
not long content himself with a savage, however 
attractive she might be. After the first ecstatic 
shock sent to his heart by her dark electric beauty 
had subsided, his passion waned. And after he 
had ceased to love her, her very tenderness, hu- 
mility and submission only disgusted and revolt- 
ed him ; he determined to leave her. Reginald 
Clinton had all a fine gentleman's abhorrence of 
<; a scene. JJ He resolved to evade one, so one 
day he took leave of Lulu as if for a day of hunt- 
ing, and he never saw her but once more. He 
turned his steps towards Shannondale, where he 
arrived late in the afternoon. Squire Summer- 
field received him with surprise and joy as one 
from the dead. He told them the story of his 
rescue by the Indians and of his sojourn among 
them but he said nothiog of Lulu. Squire Sum- 
merfidd introduced him to his young sister, Rose 
Summerfield, for her exceeding beauty called the 
" Rose of Shannoudale." She had just returned 
from France where she had been educated, and 
had arrived at Red Stone Hail during the absence 
of Colonel Clinton. Very lovely was the Rose 
of Shannondale with her hebe-like style of 
beauty, her exquisite form, her fair complexion, 
with its sudden blushes her deep blue eyes, 
with their meek droop, and the clustering auburn 
tendrils that contrasted so brightly with her 
snowy forehead and roseate cheeks. Clinton 
was thrown constantly in her society, and he 
bund her mind and heart richly cultivated and 
seautiful as her person. He loved her not 
with that passionate delirium of attraction that 
lad bound him to Lulu; but with a profound and 
tender affection founded upon deep esteem ; and 
an affection that might have possessed redeem- 
ing power for him but for his sins against Lul 
A few weeks passed and ReginaH Clinton was 
the accepted lover of Rose Sammerfield, and 
their marriage day was fixed. Splendid prepa- 
rations were made. The fame of the magnifi- 
cence of the approaching bridal spread all over 
the country. A vast number of relatives am 
riends were invited. The marriage day came 
Evening drew on. The guests assembled. 
Night was turned to day with the splendor of the 
illuminations. The marriage ceremony was over 
and the company were all in the saloon. Muny 




SHANNON DALE. 



15 



cotillions were up upon the floor, and the music 
pealed forth, drowning the roar of waters arou< i 
the vale. Suddenly in the pauses of the music 
arose a wild, unearthly wail ! It was so fierce 
in its despairing woe that it might well be taken 
for the death cry of a soul condemned to eterna 
perdition. The guests paused and looked at each 
other. " It is a blast of wind among the pines,' 
said one. " It is the howl of a pack of wolves,' 
said another and the music pealed forth again 
and the dance went on. But again it rose, that 
fearful wail piercing the air and echoed back by 
the rocks and caverns. It came from the opposite 
side of the river. The music ceased the dan- 
cers the whole company poured out into the 
piazza. There in the full light of the harvest 
moon there upon the highest summit of the 
opposite tower-like rock sat Lulu, Queen of the 
Shenandoahs, singing her death song. As the 
bridegroom reached the spot she ceased cleared 
the air with a sudden bound and plunged into the 
waters beneath ! Such was the end of the beau 
tifjil Queen of the Shenandoahs. Such the legend 
of the Lover's Leap. 



CHAPTER Vc 

THE THREE BELLES OF SHANNONDALE. 

Harry Her waggish face lhat speaks a soul jocose, 
Seems t' have been cast i' the mould of 

fun and glee ; 

And on the bridge of her well arched nose, 
Sits laughter-plumed and white-winged 
jollity. Tennent. 

Winny Who does not understand and love her, 

With feeling thus o'erfraught ? 
Though silent as the sky above her, 
Like that she kindles thought. 

Oilman. 



Full many a lady 
I have eyed with best regard for several 

virtues 
i have liked several women but she ! 

oh, she ! 

So perfect and so peerless is created 
Of every creature's best ! Shakspeare. 



The legend was finished the priest arose 
and taking his staff, stood up in the midst of the 
party, who, having also arisen, surveyed the 
theatre of the catastrophe. 

Yes," said Harry Joy, "here sat the Indian 
Queen discrowned and desolate before her, 
from the mansion across the flood, blazed the 
lights and pealed the music that celebrated her 
false lover's gorgeous bridal ! Here even from 
hence, the despairing death-song wailed above 
the roar of waters and the thunder of the music 
and here her wild arms were tossed aloft as she 
took the fatal leap. I should very much like to he evening 



see the fellow for whom I would break my neck, 
or my heart either !" she exclaimed, flashing a 
glance of defiance around upon the gentlemen of 
the party, as if she felt disposed to avenge upon 
the whole sex, the crime of Lulu's betrayer. 

Wmny stood a little apart her eyes stream- 
ing with tears her form half supported by the 
encircling arm of her tutor. 

"This story moves you !" he said. 
" Oh, yes ! because it is true. What a pic- 
ture of love, of wrong, of despair ! Struck down 
from her glorious pride of place! discrowned 
betrayed forsaken alone /" 

" But the priest has not told us was no effort 
made to rescue her ?" 

" Oh, yes ! a hundred young men, the instant 
that she leaped, threw off their coats, ran down 
the hill, and plunged into the flood! in vain! 
they risked their lives in vain ! she never arose 
to the surface she was never seen again!" 
" And her betrayer ?" 

" A shadow fell upon his brow that never left 
it during the short period of his sojourn in Vir- 
ginia. Before winter he took his bride to Eng- 
land, and he never again visited the New 
World!" 

"The sun is growing oppressive, let us de- 
scend the mountain and return to the house," 
said the priest. 

The party turned their steps, and after a short 
and difficult walk through the rocky thicket, 
they reached the small open glade, where they 
had left their horses. Stopping to gather some 
sprigs of green cedar, flecked with tiny snow- 
white ball-blossoms, they mounted their steeds, 
and descended the circuitous path leading to the 
level of the river. They found a fleet of boats 
moored upon that side. 

" Let us leave our horses to be led home by 
the grooms, and cross the river in the boats," 
said Colonel Dangerfield. 

" No, I thank you, sir," replied Harry Joy, 
" the river is too high and rough." 

" I should not have given you credit for timi- 
dity, Miss Joy," observed Sina Hinton. 

" No, I am not timid ! I can ride the wildest, 
and break the most vicious horse in the moun- 
tains, but I can do nothing with the river, in its 
roused wrath !" 

" Um-m-m," cooed Sina, in assent. 
" It may be my bad taste, you see, ladies and 
gentlemen, but I have an especial objection to 
helpless suffocation;" and cheering on her 
steed, Harry bounded forward, leading the way 
up the river to the ferry-station. 

Her party, upon second thought, followed her. 
They reached Red-Stone Hall in time to dress 
"or dinner. Mrs. Summer field received them in 
the dining-room, with her usual stately courtesy. 
At an early hour in the evening the visitors 
retired to their rooms, to make their toilet for 



lf> 

There were about two hundred guests expect 
^d, and as the shades of night fell, they began to 



The whole front of the hall was one sheet of 
illumination the whole extent of the lawm a 
grove of carriages. NAm* rous grooms, coach- 
men, and otner servants and attendants of the 
visitors, tilled up the piazzas and the passages. 
The great taloon was thrown open a magnifi- 
cent fpecracle ! The dark and polished oak of 
the pannelled wall, relieved by large and costly 
paintings of old artists, all of a character at 
once scriptural and festal as "The Feast of 
the Tabernacle," "The Marriage of Cam," 
"David Dancing Before the Ark of God," 
"The Prodigal Son's Festival," &c. These 
pictures were large as life three on each side 
of the room and garlanded with festoons of 
flowers. The spaces between them were filled 
op alternately with statues, holding immense 
wax candles, and immense vases, filled wi.th 
flowers. The curtains at the windows, the 
sofa, ottoman, and chair-covers, were all of rich 
purple damask, fringed with gold. A gallery at 
the upper end of the saloon held the band. 
A central chandelier, with a thousand pendant 
crystals, hanging from the ceiling, poured down 
a shower of various- colored light, filling the 
vast saloon with radiance. At the appointed 
hour of reception, the doors were thrown open, 
and the band struck up a fine, inspiring strain of 
music. The saloon soon began to fill. It was 
whispered about that the " Three Belles of Shan- 
nondale" were to be present. Two of them 
were seated side by side on one of the short 
sofas. A perfect contrast were these two beau- 
ties Harry and Winny. Harry, with her wick- 
ed black eyes, and her clustering curls, kinking 
like grape-tendrils, in short, spiral, glistening 
black ringlets around her broad, white, boyish 
brow Harry, with her richly mantling, bright 
carnation bloom, and her saucy arched lips, and 
arrayed in her showy^ dress of blue and gold 
changeable satin, and frisking her saucy fan, 
and Winny, with her soft, dark-blue> tender 
eyes, and her long, smooth, pale gold ringlets, 
drooping down her fair forehead and delicate 
peach-blossom cheeks Winny, with her simple 
white nilk dress, and little posey of pinks. 
Winny had no fan she said that Harry Joy 
raised wind enough for them both. Near them 
stood the queen of the festival the beauty and 
the heiress Imogene Summerfield receiving 
her company. She was supported on one Bide 
by the presence of her mothfr; on the other, by 
that of her betrothed husband. 

Imogene Surnmerfield! how shall I describe 
her wondrous, her divine beauty? 1 feel that 
my steps are on holy ground as I approach her. 
Her fprm was above the middle height, ele- 
gantly proportioned, and arrayed in a richly 
embroidered black lace robe, worn over white 



SHANNONDALE. 

satin. The effect of this dress was singularly 
beautiful. She wore no ornament, except hei 
own long, black, splendid hair, that fell in three 
divisions of massive ringlets, far below her 
waist: one down her shoulders behind, and two 
brought forward, and flowing down in waves of 
jet each side of her bosom. Her forehead was 
high and fair ; her eye-brows black, slender, and 
arched ; her eye-lashes black, long, and thick* 
but her eyes her large, dark, glorious eyes ! 
so profound in their inteiminable depths of 
meaning! inlets to an unfathomable spirit- 
world within. She received her guests with a 
native grace and dignity ; yet withal, a half ab- 
stracted air as she raised her long eye-lashes, 
the light slowly returned to her shadowy eyes, 
as though the spirit was recalled from a distance. 

" And her smile it seemed half holy, 
As if drawn from thoughts more rare 
Than our common jestings are " 

There was something of reverence in the 
admiration she inspired. There was some- 
thing of veneration even in the tone and manner 
of her dignified and gracious mother, as she ad- 
dressed her. She did not dance. You could not 
imagine her taking part in the lively cotillons 
she did not dance but when the solemn, half 
martial, half dirge-like march of the minuet was 
played, then, at the earnest request of Colonel 
Dangerfield, seconded by her mother, she gave 
him her hand to walk the stately minuet. A 
suppressed murmur of admiration, mingled with 
awe, floated around the room as the queenly 
form of Miss Summerfield sailed on in the ma- 
jestic measure. Colonel Dangerfield, also, hand- 
some and gallant-looking in his superb uniform, 
received his share of admiration from the ladies. 
At the termination of the august dance, Colonel 
Dangerfield, with a suave and stately courtesy, 
conducted his partner back to her seat, bowed 
profoundly, and remained standing by her side. 

Miss Summerfield did not dance again, nor did 
Colonel Dangerfield leave her side again that 
evening, though from time to time his attention 
was distracted by the musical laughter or the 
merry looks of Harry Joy. 

Quadrilles again followed the minuet, and 
Harry Joy bore off the palm in that lively mea- 
sure. 



" Her feet beat witchcraft as sne led the dance." 
Waltzing succeeded, and Winny Darling excel- 
led in that charming, half caressing whirl. 
Many people were surprised that Miss Darling 
waltzed a young lady carefully reared as she 
had been by her grandmother but Winny was 
entirely too pure-minded to dream that any one 
saw harm in waltzing. She waltzed with her 
tutor only. 

It was late when the ball broke up. Aa the 
night waa fine, most of the company returned 
home, but many remained all night; and for 



SHANNONDALE. 



them a sumptuous breakfast was prepared in toe 
morning. Madam Winifred and Squire -Darling 
arrived by dinner-time the next day, and having 
remained until late in the evening, invited the 
whole party assembled at Red-Stone Hall to a 
dinner and ball the next, day at Oak Grove. This 
invitation was of course generally accepted, and 
Squire Darling and Madam Winifred returned 
home, leaving Miss Darling, her tutor and her 
companion still at Red-Stone Hall. 

After an unusually early breakfast the next 
morning, and before the dew was off the grass, 
the Red-Stone Hall party set out for Oak Grove 
in the following order Mrs. and Miss Summer- 
field, Father Burleigh and Colonel Lee Danger- 
field occupied the elegant family carriage of 
Red-Stone Hall. Sina Hinton and Harry Joy 
followed on horseback, and Winny and her 
teacher slowly brought up the rear. Winny was 
a graceful, but not a spirited equestrian. Her 
horse was a perfect beauty. It was a thorough 
bred Arabian which her father had purchased 
for her. Sea-foam was very small, snow-white, 
of an exquisitely beautiful shape, with an ele- 
gant head, delicate ears, proudly arched neck, 
from which descended a flowing, soft and silvery 
mane that nearly reached the ground, with 
a fine flowing tail like silver floss, slender 
ankles that gleamed white, and tiny, jet black 
hoofs. He was a perfectly beautiful creature a 
poem of a horse. Winny loved him as a bro- 
ther. His temper was at once gentle and spirit- 
ed, his action at once swift, smooth and wave- 
like. 

I observe you never ride with a whip, Miss Dar- 
ling," observed the tutor, as he rode by her side. 
A whip ! Oh ! I am so sorry you said that ! 
& whip ! for the proud, beautiful creature I when 
a mere word will stop her, or a cheer send her 
flying forward. Oh ! it would break my heart 
nearly if she were once degraded by a blow," 
replied Winny, caressing her favorite soothingly, 
as if to compensate her for the gross injury. 

They rode on, Sina Hinton furtively watching 
them. 

The time is ripe," she said, and she resolved 
to inform against them that very day. 

The party arrived at Oak Grove about eleven 
o'clock. They entered the deep shaded umbra- 
geous paths that led by a circuitous route to the 
great green gate admitting them to the grounds 
about the hall. Again all stopped to admire the 
green and deeply shadowed lawn, and the mighty 
forest trees, each standing alone with its great, 
round, knotted trunk, and its broad, spreading, 
powerful arms, and its heavy, dark green mass 
of foliage ; all paused to admire the dark, gray, 
castellated looking mansion standing amid the 
patriarchal oaks. They cantered up to the door, 
they dismounted . The occupants of the carriage 
had arrived some minutes before, and were in 
their rooms changing their dress. 
2* 



17 

Squire Darling was on the steps waiting to re- 
ceive them.* He was a stout, fair haired, blue- 
eyed man, with a countenance expressive of 
good humor and bonhommie; yet it was the 
bonhommie of the lion in repose. 

Reader! have you ever in visiting a mena- 
gerie, observed that the ferocious among the 
wild beasts are the most benevolent looking 
when quiet. See the leopard in repose with his 
beautifully striped coat, his fur muffled paws, 
and his soft lips, and gentle, sleepy eyes he is 
the very ideal of meekness, love and docility 
but rouse him ! and there is nothing in the uni- 
verse more terribly sublime than his exploding 
fury. It is so with the tiger, it is so with 
the lion, it is so with all the superior animals, it 
is so through all nature. The most fertile and 
beautiful countries are the most subject to destruc- 
tive storms. The most awful volcanoes rise from 
the midst of the most genial landscapes, and the 
regions most luxuriant with the lavish bounties 
of nature are the most frequently visited by the 
most fatal earthquakes. The most intense fires 
burn without often blazing, but when they do 
flame out, it is with terrible destruction. The 
deepest seas are silent and beautiful, almost 
loving, and smiling in their repose, but when 
they are heard, navies shudder at their breath 1 
God-like or demon-like power in man, beast, 
earth, air, or water, is not always making a 
noise does not carry thunder in its band, or 
wear lightning in its eyes. Great power is cen- 
tripetal but to return, 

Squire Darling, with his fair Saxon face, stood 
genially smiling on the steps of his piazza. 
Harry Joy's horse gallopped up the hill, and she 
threw herself from the saddle and j-an up the 
stairs, and stood there looking handsome and 
impudent with her straw hat cocked on one side 
of her head, and her short curls kinking in bright, 
black rings on each eide of her broad, white fore- 
head, her face all glowing with the exercise of 
the race, and the triumph of the victory. Winny, 
Sina, and the tutor were at her heels, however, 
and were dismounting at the very instant that 
Squire Darling seizing both the hands of Harry, 
said, 

" Ha ! my little Nimrod, is this you hearty 
and saucy as ever, I see !" and then he descend- 
ed the steps, and all his manner changed to the 
deepest tenderness as he folded Winny to his 
heart, and whispered, 

My dear, dear Winny ; my darling, welcome 
home ; your poor father feels so lonely and deso- 
late when you stay away a night, Winny my 
own darling, welcome home." 

Indeed I will never go away and leave you 
again then, papa that I will not for home, after 
all, dear home is the best place. I get tired of 
company and great goings-on so soon!" 

Sina Hinton came up the steps leaning on the 
arm of the tutor. 






SHANNONDALE. 
IS 

Miss Hinton and Mr. Ardenne you are both Imogene, who never forgets me, brought it down 
welcome back ! I am glad to fee you!" j from Georgetown, for me." 

Tae whole party retired to change their dress \ ' Yes, ma'am. Mother! I have found out a 



for dinner. 



nice little romance in real life ! Love is always 



Squire Darlfng followed, with a crotchet in his a romance, ha! mother? and when its happy 

__^i _i A i i *. _i _ . 



head. There was a little vein of romance in the 
broad strata of benevolence in his composition. 
This eomctiraes l*d him to JUT p to conclusions, 
not always correct. Miss Hinton and Mr. Ar- 
denne happened to be conversing in a very confi- 
dential strain when they rode up together ; when 
they dismounted, Winny, as has been seen, had 
run forward to meet her father, and Mr. Ardenne 
had given hit* arm up the steps to Sina, and they 
continued their confidential talk until Squire 
Darling turned to them. Now Squire Darling 
had noticed this, and imagined there was a 
love affair existing between the tutor and the 
companion I He liked this! this suited him! it 
assimilated with the warm geftteHty and bon 
hommie of his temper it seemed to him very 
proper and fitting. Sina is a frank, sincere, 
brave girl, and Ardenne is a most estimable 
youth ; poor things ! 1 dare say now they are 
looking forward to many, many years of waiting 
before they think they can marry they are so 
destitute ! but it shall not be so ; I will be their 
providence ; I will set him up in business, and 
they shall be married as soon as they please ; 
for, by St. Peter, life is too short to be passed in 
waiting ! but 1 must see mother first about it." 
And as the visitors were all in their private 
apartments preparing for dinner, the squire 
having an hour of relaxation from hospitable 
duties, went to see his mother in her room up 
gtairs. He found the old lady deep in the perusal 
of the " Mysteries of Udolpho." Madam Wini- 
fred was a* tall, thin, wasted old lady, with a 
long, pale, thin face, with a mild expression. 
Sne wore a black silk dress, with a white mus- 
lin inside handkerchief folded over her bosom, 
and a white muslin cap, beneath which her sil- 
rer hair was parted neatly over her brow. She 
looked so clean, pure, gentle and dignified. It 
was the dignity of age and goodness rather than 
of pride, or even of wisdom. The old lady was 
a devoted Christian, though a bigoted Catholic ; 
and now at sixty-five she was as full of romance 
as her grand-daughter of sixteen ; yet it was the 
high toned and elevating chivalry of romance 
akin to religion, and it is to be presumed that it 
was from kr the squire derived the romantic 
alloy in the pure gold of his own sound nature. I 
have before mentioned the perfect family har- 
mony an-1 unity that existed between the houses 
of Oak Grove and Red-Stone; I will now in 
form you that the love and confidence between 
this mother and son were perfect. 

ruing, dear mother, what have you 
gotth^r ..?' 

" A very interesting new novel from the pen 
of Mrs. Rddchff, my son. My grand-daughter, 



consummation is almost hopeless, it is a deep ro- 
mance is it not, mother ?" 

" I hop* you do not refer to either of my 
grand-daughters, Miss Summerfield or Miss Dar- 
ling, my son ?" said the old lady, her mild, blue 
eyes looking very solemnly over her spectacles. 
" Winny! pooh! Winny's a baby, in love with 
milk and bread! As for Miss Summerfield for 
by my life I never feel familiar enough with my 
niece to call her Imogene as for Miss Sum- 
merfield, she is enamoured of an arch-angel 
in the seventh heaven, perhaps! No, I speak 
of Sina and the tutor they love each other, 
poor children, and they can never marry unless 
we help them." 

" How help them?" inquired Madam Winifred, 
whom this news did not by any means startle, 
she having foreseen it. "How can we further 
the wishes of the poor young lovers? 

*' Money makes the mule go' there is 
scarcely an enterprize in this world that money 
will not forward ; scarcely an evil in this world 
that money will not avert scarcely a good on 
this earth, that money will not obtain." 

" More the pity that we should be so the 
slaves of lucre," said the old lady. 

" Yet, God forgive my levity ! " said the squire, 
with one of his sudden changes from lightness to 
solemnity "May God forgive my levity, 
there was one evil, that money could not avert 
cannot cure ! the loss of my adored wife ; and 
there is one good one God-given good the 
possession of my darling, my blessed, my ido- 
lized child! my love-angel Winny!" said the 
father, with deep emotion. 

Ah ! Squire Darling, money did not purchase 
your treasure, nor can the want of money de- 
prive you of her. But the pride of birth the 
pride of rank the pride of wealth the inso- 
lence of power the selfishness of love the 
vengeance of jealousy these will banish your 
love- an gel from you I 

Yes, you wrong your better nature, when 
you speak so lightly, my dear son. But what do 
you intend to do in the premises." 

" I intend to have an interview with Sina this 
very day. I should rather break the subject to 
her than to Ardenne ; confound the fellow, there 
is a dark, dangerous majesty of manner about 
him that keeps off near approach. Now Sina is 
safe she is a free, frank, sincere girl ; too sin- 
cere, I sometimes think. And if, after all, 1 
should possibly be mistaken in my notions why 
it is safer to betray the mistake to Cousin Sina, 
than to tbat solemn muzzle -mouthed fellow that 
always reminds me of a canon. There is scarce- 
ly, however, a possibility of doubt. And wnat I 



SHANNONDALE. 



19 



mean to do, mother, is to set the young fellow 
Up iii any business he may select that is, it 1 
have your approval and co-operation, my dear 
mother." 

" Certainly my son ! certainly ! You have 
more ! you have my highest approbation and 
admiration ; and you shall have my assistance 
also. Put my name down for a thousand dol 
iar* " 

e< Thank you, my good mother. Now I mus 
see Suia before dinner and I have just time 
good -Jay, till we meet at table, my dear 
madam!" 

And Squire Darling hurried out of the room. 

The devil was certainly, to use Old Nerve's 
graphic, and expressive term, " wasting"' 
about Oak Grove that day. Sina Hinton hap- 
pened to be seeking Squire Darling at the very 
time he went in search of her. They ran 
against each other in the passage. 

Ha, ha, ha ! ha, ha, ha ! 

' 111 met by moonlight, fair Titania.' 

I mean well met by sun-light, lovely Sina. 
was looking for you," said the squire, jovially, 
as he caught her with a shock. 

" And I for you, sir," replied Sina, in a soft, 
solemn tone, as she receded from his arms. 

<k Ah ! is it so ? Come into my study/' and 
opening an opposite door, Squ.re Darling led 
Miss Hinton into a small office-like room and 
seating her on an arm chair, took a common one 
himself, and leaned his elbow on the little study 
table that stood between them. " Well, little 
one, what is it ? Come ! speak out ! be frank, 
like your own sincere self!" said the squire, 
leaning on his elbows, with his bright blue eyes 
dancing with glee. 

Sina dropped her head, let droop her long eye- 
lashes, and replied, softly, 

Sir, it is a delicate a very delicate subject 
one most painful for rie, especially, to enter 
upon." She paused in a feigned embarrass- 
ment. 

The squire jumped up, and rubbed his hands for 
joy and fun. " A delicate subject is it ! and for 
you ou ou!" sang the squire. "Then, 
by the soul of my father, I know all about 
it." 

"You<tfo, sir!" exc aimed Sina, raising her 
long lashes, and fixing her fine eyes on him in 
handsome surprise. 

Sina, with her keen perception, saw that he 
was on a false track, and resolved to make his 
very misapprehension serve her purpose if pos- 
sible. 

"Yourfo, sir! You know this!" 

"I ' do sir? every whit every sigh and tear 
every hope and fear every doubt and dread 
every blush and palpitation ! Oh, my dear, 1 

* Way sting lay ing wait inciting people 10 evil. 



have sailed in those torrid and tempestuous lati- 
tudes myself ; and though now anchored in the 
harbor of age 1 have not forgotten it!" 

" You surprise me, dir I" said Sina, not knovr- 
ing what else to say. 

" 1 do ! *)h, aye ! to be sure ! certainly ! ex- 
actly I precisely so! You impertinent young 
people think your elders know nothing of such 
matters. I dare say now, you think me a stern 
old fellow one who would persecute a pair of 
poor human turtle-doves < a very beadle to an 
a'morous sigh/ don't .ou? you saucy, injurious 
minx ! You would like to consider yourself a 
persecuted love-heroine, and me a horrible old 
guardian, or uncle, or father, or something such 
as we all read of in novels, and such as we hate 
intensely. 1 don't choose to play such a part I 
You shan't have that satisfaction." 

Sina turned extremely pale, as well she might. 
She thought it unquestionable that the simple 
squire had divined the whole policy of her dia- 
bolical machinations, and designed to frustrate 
them by an unexpected course. She remained 
perfectly silent, and covered with confusion. A 
moment's reflection, however, restored her confi- 
dence ; she put a different interpretation upon 
the affair. He knew, she thought, of the love of 
Ardenne and Winny, but not of HER private de- 
signs her self-possession was restored. 

" You see I know all about it nay, look down 
girl I know it all. He's got black hair, black 
eyes, black eye-browslooks like the BUck 
Prince, only much grander ! he writes tragedies, 
plays dirges, paints pictures of the Crucifixion, 
and makes himself in various other ways, use- 
less and disagreeable ! and all because he loves 
a nice girl, whom he never hopes to marry !" 
said the squire, looking waggishly at Sina, and 
pinching her cheek. 

Now, quick as lightning, Sina understood that 
he supposed her to be the object of the tutor's 
passion, and she determined to use this to reveal 
as by accident, rather than to betray by design, 
the love of Ardenne and Winny. She affected 
to misapprehend him. She replied, 
" Then, sir, you knew of this." 
I suspected it long, but I did not know it un- 
til this morning." 

" Um-m-me," cooed Sina, < then 1 am reliev- 
ed ! oh ! so greatly relieved ! Oh, sir ! you can- 
not imagine what a terrible struggle 1 have had 
between my duty to you, and my love for Winny 
and her lover I" 

" Winny and her LOVER ! ! Who ? What ? 
In the name of all the fiends below, girl ! what 
do you mean?" exclaimed the squire, turning 
chalk white, starting upon his feet and trem- 
)ling with rage " who dares to dispute thi 
leartof my daughter, with me? Winny ! I wouf 
not give her to a crowned King I Reply to me 
girl! tell me instantly, on your life! Who 
this lover of my daughter that 1 may " 



20 



SH ANNONDALE. 



Oh, sir ! oh, sir f" exclaimed the cowardly 
traitorss, paling with alarm. 

SPEAK, I SAY !" thundered the Squire, his 
far- crimson, his veins nearly bursting with 
fury. " SPEAK, who is this lover, that I may KILL 
him /" 

M Oh, *ir .'1 beg I pray f " 

ANSWER I" roared the Squire, grasping her 
shoulder, and shaking her violently. 

It it it is Mr. Ardenne!" gasped Sina,in 
the last extremity of terror at the storm she 
had raised. 

" Ardenne!" repeated the Squire, turning pale, 
and sinking into his seat, with a wandering 
air ; < Ardenne ! I am losing my reason that 
is the nly fact of which I am conscious!" 

Sina Hintoo took this opportunity of slipping 
out of th room ; she ran wildly up and down 
the galleries in search of Ardenne. Gliding 
swiftly, and darting her head hither and thither 
like a terrified adder. In truth she had not ex- 
pected this typhoon of rage in the father ; at 
most, she had calculated on his moderate dis- 
pleasure, on his dismissal of Ardenne from the 
house, and upon that circumstance, with her 
own machinations, ending in the elopement of 
Winny whose place she wished to fill in her 
father's home and heart. She had resolved, also, 
before revealing anything, to bind the simple- 
minded squire over to secrecy, as to her agency 
in the revelation, so that she should not forfeit 
the friendship of Ardenne and Winny, or lose 
her influence over them, for that was very im- 
portant, was positively necessary to the success 
of her schemes. But now no promise of secrecy 
as to the informer had been obtained from the 
squire, his blind rage precluded the possibility 
of the thing and now all was lost, unless she 
could see Ardenne before the squire should meet 



CHAPTER V . 

SINA HINTON. 

" In face an angel, but In soul a cat." 

Wvlcott. 

Sina, as we have said, fled about the house 
like a scared cat, as she was, and finally found 
Ardenne reading " The Lady of the Lake" to 
Miss Darling, in the piazza. She sprang to his 
ide she seized his elbow. 

" Come f come with me into one of the 
distant arbors I must I MUST have an in- 
terview with you immediately. Nay, Winny, 
May where you are," and she drew Ardenne 
away, who followed her with an amazed air. 
When thev reached the arbor All is lost !" 
he said, "all! all is lost Oh, Ardenne, for- 
give me !" 

I do not understand you, Miss Hinton." 

Forgive me I forgive me ! that deep tha, 1 



asr.ute that cunning squire ! that accomplished 
old schemer ! God forgive me ! that old ser- 
pent, Squire Darling !" 

" Squire Darling ! that soul of frankness and 
simplicity! I do not in the least comprehend 
you !" 

" Squire Darling that adept in falsehood and 
duplicity, of which I have been made the silly, 
wretched victim!" exclaimed Sina, bitterly, 
wringing her hands with an air of very hoaest 
indignation. 

" Be so good as to explain yourself, Miss Hin- 
ton " 

* I will ; and do you prepare to hear some- 
thing atrocious! An hour ago the squire 
called me into his study, and with an air the 
most benevolent and frank in the world gave 
me To understand that he knew of your love, and 
approved your suit ; nay, asserted in the most 
positive manner that he knew all about it ; nay, 
as he said, he knew < every hope and fear every 
sigh, blush and palpitation,' said that he was no 
persecutor of young lovers no tyrannical father 
nay, he smiled, chuckled, and rubbed his 
hands said that you should not have the satis- 
faction of making him out such, and finally drew 
me on to admit that there was a love affair be- 
tween you and Winny. It seems that all he 
wanted was this admission from me, for he no 
sooner got it than he flew into the most fright- 
ful fury I ever beheld in my life; he turned 
white ; he shuddered ; his eyes started from his 
head, and he foamed at the mouth! Then, 
when I implored mercy for you for her, and for 
myself, he grew black in the face his veins 
swelled he pounced upon me, and shook the 
breath nearly out of my body !" 

"Shook you, Sina!" exclaimed the youth, 
with flashing eyes, springing to his feet. 

" For Heaven's sake stop ! He is your wife's 
father or at least the father of one who will 
soon be your wife." 

This was a deep stroke of art on the part of 
Sina. At the electric words Your wife," the 
yo'ing man grew pale and reeled with excess 
of pleasure. " Wife." What a magic word. 
Sina left him to his trance, to his ecstacy 
she would not have said a word to break it, as 
she valued the reversion of Oak Grove to her- 
selfonly when he was slowly recovering she 
said, affectionately, 

" Yes, Edgar ! for you must marry her [ Lis- 
ten, Edgar ! her father as soon as he can find 
you, will be brute enough to not to mince the 
matter to kick you out of doors. Now if any 
false sense of honor prevents you from taking 
Winny with you, she will perish here in her 
desolation! I know it. 1 am in her confidence. 
I am her bosom friend. She sleeps every night 
ir my arms, Edgar her head upon my bosom, 
(here was another piece of diabolism,) this bo- 
som is often wet with her tears as she mur- 



SHANNONDALE. 



murs in her slumber of you ! If from an> false 
sense of probity you fail to take her with you- 
nay, if you listen to her own pleading in behal 
of her filial fluty, for she is capable of self im- 
molation, you leave her to a certain death be- 
lieve it! Do not listen a moment to her plead- 
ings of her father and her duty her duty is to 
you you are her master, you know it! fate 
and nature have made you such. You must use 
your authority to save her you must not leave 
the premises without taking her with you ! 
will assist you ! I am willing to be crucified for 
my friends ! as I have already suffered violence 
for them this morning." 

She spoke with her eloquent eyes fixed on him 
her glorious eyes glowing into his. He mused, 
not quietly. Oh! no quick flushes swept his face 
and left it pale with passion he did not reply 
the temptress continued with her soft and plead- 
ing, or her high, authoritative and inspiring tones, 
" She loves you tenderly, profoundly loves you 
she loves her father, her grandmother, her 
friends, but the affection she feels for her father, 
grandmother, and all her friends put together 
and multiplied a million fold, would not equal the 
love she bears to you ! Is this love natural ? Is 
it right ? Is it Heaven inspired ? You know it 
%s ! Does it give you a claim to her ? Does it 
constitute a divine marriage of itself? You 
know it does ! ( Whom God hath joined together 
let no man put asunder!' Do you think these 
divine words refer to the church ritual by which 
hands are united so often without hearts? By 
all the most beautiful things on earth by all the 
holiest things in heaven, I tell you no ! It is to 
the co-attraction of your souls ! The law that 
keeps suns in their centres, and planets in their 
spheres, should govern the souls of earth at- 
traction. You are her sun and she your planet. 
What right has the world with its impertinent 
conventionalities, or a father with his tyrannical 
will to sever two souls that love ? You are her 
sun she your planet desert her repulse her, 
and even as a comet or a lost star wanders in 
the dark and drear immensity of space forever 
so she will be lost in the endless night of death 
or madness !" 

" Oa, Heaven ! speak to me no more, Sina ! I 
must, seek an interview with this man ! 1 must 
see Squire Darling, acknowledge my love for his 
daughter and ask her hand ! That is the course 
of honor ! That I must do ! The rest perhaps 
afterwards!" 

The youth was about to leave the arbor, but 
she artfully laid her hand upon his arm and de- 
tained him a moment 

"1 know," she said, softly and sadly, "I 
know what will be my fate if Squire Darling 
knows of my further interference in this matter, 
and particularly of my inter view with you, he will 
turn me out of doors, and I shall be thrown upon 
the world for support ! but never mind, Edgar I 



21 

never look grave, I do not mind it ! I would ask 
you not to say anything of this interview nor to 
mention my name in it in any way, I should ask 
you to do that, but that my very soul loathes all 
concealments! Nay, then, tell him. Edgar! tell 
him everything ! if it falls in your way am! ' 
with a look of martyrdom < he must do his 
worst !" 

"1 certainly shall not betray your confidence, 
my dearest Sina, there is no necessity of men- 
tioning your name, and I shall not." 

" Yes, do t I wronged my own soul and yours 
when I hinted at a concealment ; for my own 
part, I shall make no secret of the part 1 take 
in your affairs, except in what is positively ne- 
cessary for your safety. I should scorn ' here 
her fine eyes flashed and her lip curled "I 
should scorn concealment upon my own ac- 
count !" 

" You are a noble girl, Sina, proud, courage- 
OUH, frank, sincere but not discreet not pru- 
dent." 

" Prudence is a questionable virtue it is in- 
compatible, oftentimes, with truth, courage, 
faith, love everything that is highest and holi- 
est everything that is loveliest and most beau- 
tiful ! I observe that bad people have vastly 
more of that worldly commodity than good peo- 
ple ! I wonder how it ever came to be enrolled 
among the virtues it is some careless haste in 
the packing up and labelling !" laughed Sina. 

The peal of the dinner-bell startled them both. 

" Go on/* said Sina, " 1 have got to gather a 
bouquet for Miss Summerfield. 1 promised to 
hand her one after dinner." 

"Let me do it!" 

" Thank you, do so, if you please, and I will 
o on, 3 ' said Sina, who did not wish to be seen 
entering the dining-room in his company. 

Sina came sauntering easily towards the house. 
She was met in the passage by Squire Darling, 
who, drawing her arm within his own, said, 

must apologize for my rudeness to yom 
this morning, Miss Hinton I do hope that you 
will forgive the violence of an over-wrought 
emper a madness that made the victim miss 
the just object of his indignation, to let it fall 
upon the innocent but never mind ! there is 
time enough !" and his eyes glowed, flashed and 
sparkled. " I will not terrify my company but 
et them be gone curses ! eursns on this un- 
ucky dinner and ball that delays my anger !" 

Sina pressed his hand Sina looked gently in 
his eyes Sina spoke lovingly to him. 

" I was so sorry so sorry dear me, how I 
have reasoned with Ardenne about it 1 told 
lim that his wooing your daughter was a breach 
of faith that it was " 

if D 1 fly away with him ! Don't say ano- 
her word about him, or I shall make a disturb, 
ance here!" growled the squire, in horrible 
low thunder. 



SHANNONDALE. 



He led her into the dining-room, and placed 
her at table, where the rest of the company 
were already assembled. Winny was there, 
looking pale and anxious, yet uncertain and 
mystified, as if she felt the storm in the air, but 
could not tee from what point the cloud arose. 

Ardenne was the last to enter ; placing the 
bouquet in a flower-stand until it might be want- 
ed, he took his accustomed seat at the board. 
The squir" greeted him with an excess of cour- 
tesy, amounting to insult Ardenne, as the 
tutor, gave precedence to all the gentlemen on 
that aide, and sat on the last seat of the row, and 
earest that of the squire, who prehided at the 
feast. 

1 have been seeking you, sir," he said. 
I am at your command, sir," replied Ar- 
denne. 

" 1 am advised of the honor you intend me !" 
aid the squire. 

Ardenne bowed with grave and stately cour- 
tesy in reply, and the squire, somewhat modified 
by his manner, or recollecting himself as a Vir- 
ginian, a gentleman and a host, returned the 
bow, and gave his attention to other things. 
Ardenne sat there but he could not eat a 
mouthful would have choked him he sat there, 
and feigned with his knife and fork, to avoid 
exciting inquiry. Wmny was opposite to him. 
As the daugnter of their host, she had given 
precedence to all the ladies of the party, and 
taken the lowest seat on her side across the 
table from Ardenne Winny saw the by play 
between her father and her lover, she saw that 
he a'e nothing and with all her efforts to re- 
strain them, the tears would rise to her eyes. 
She wiped them away, fast as they flowed, but 
they would fill again. Her father looked at her 
sternly several times ; this had the contrary ef- 
fect from that intended Winny sobbed out- 
right! 

" Leave the table, Miss Darling !" said her 
father, with a severe frown, but in a low tone 
greatly fearing that her agitation would draw 
attention, and dreading a scene. Winny, trem- 
bling arose and left the table. Ardenne arose 
with a fierce but stead" gaze into the eyes of the 
quire, and followed her 

" What is the matter ?" inquired Madam Wini- 
fred. 

"Nothing! nothing! but th;u Miss Darling 
bus turned a little giddy," said the squire, and 
then tohimelf he said, ''Very veil, young man! 
you are piling up wrath ag^n a day of" wrath!' 
go on ! you will scarcely "lop* wi'h my daugh- 
ter while we are at dinner, anri if you could you 
cannot be legally married in Virginia thanks to 
the conservative precaution of our laws!" In 
the meantime Arde^n" had fo.md Winny in the 
piazza He drev her arm vithin his own, and 
led her <iown toe steps, a, id out troug'' the 
hade of the grand old oaks, and through a Hide 



gate that led into the deepest shades of the 
forest; they passed the gate, entered the narrow 
path, and pursued it until it brought thm to a 
clear spring bubbling from a cleft in a rock he 
seated her there on the fallen trunk of a tree, and 
passing one arm around her waist, pressed her 
fondly to his bosom, kissed her lips, and looking 
down lovingly in her face, he said, 

What is the matter, dearest Winny ?" 

"I don't know, indeed 1 don't! 1 know my 
heart is broken but I don't know how it was 
broken, nor who did it ! I feel that some woe 
has come but 1 do not know what it is, nor 
whence it came !" And with a suffocating sob 
she dropped her fair head upon his breast cling- 
ing there as if for relief and protection, while 
she wept. He drew her closer to his bosom. He 
caressed, and sought to soothe her he stroked 
her fair ringlets from her brow, and pressed his 
lips there. At last she wept herself quiet, and 
gently disengaging herself from his embrace, she 
sat up. Both were silent both gazing with a 
vague, sad gaze upon the ground. 

It was strange that with all this the word 
" love" had never passed the lips of either. Soon 
taking her hand he said, 

" Dearest Winny my own dearest angel, I 
am going away." 

She looked at him intently, scrutinizingly, as 
though she had not comprehended his words. 

" I am going hence, Winny." 

She looked in a maze slowly turned very 
pale, and seemed fainting he caught he* sup- 
ported her ; then she inquired faintly but 
anxiously 

" What what did you say about about 
goi^g away ?" 

" Mine own love, I am going." 

" Youyou going \ No, no I no, no ! that 
cannot be I You ! Why should you wish to go ? 
Oa, no ! do not go !" she said, with a sickly at- 
tempt to smile. 

"My own, own sweet angel! my precious dar- 
ling, I must go." 

"Must why must? Oh, you will not go, 
Edgar! You will not go, when you know if 
you knew " She burst into tears, and sobbed 
convulsively ; and then through her broken sobs 
she said " Listen, Edgar : When we separate 
at night, I leave you vvith sadness, to think that 
for six or eight hours I shall no* see you again 
and I pray for a sound sleep that the time may 
be annihilated to me that separates us. I never 
felt so about my father, or my grandmother, 
Edgar, though I love them. When I wake in 
the morning, the first thing I think of is, that 1 
shall see you in a few minutes, and that we have 
a long, long day before us to spend together. 
Towards evening my heart begins to sink, for I 
feel the hour of separation drawing near ; 1 feel 
it befor^ it com^s, just as we feel the dampness 
of a raip cloud before the shower comes on. This 



SHANNONDALE. 



s all a mystery to me perhaps I am wrong to 
tell you but I feel as if I could tell you any- 
thing in my heart oh, yes ! 1 could tell you 
much better tnan I could my father confessor 
and if I tell you anything that is wrong, tell me 
so; I will not be angry. I could not- be angry 
with you if 1 am wrong reprove me 1 shall 
not resent it ; I would not resent it for 1 know 
that you care for me." There was so much sim- 
plicity, meekness, and sadness in her manner, so 
much appealing earnestness in her upturned 
eyes. He fell at her feet seized ner hands cover- 
ed them with kisses, and bathed them with 
tears 

" Care for you, Winny ! Care for you ! I love 
you! love you! more than my life, my soul, 
Heaven, God! Love you! oh, my own sweet, 
sweet serapn, to save you one pang I would be 
crucified!" 

She stooped forward, and threw her arms 
around his neck, and dropped her head, with all 
its flowing ringlets on his bosom, as she soltly 
replied, 

And /to save you a day's misery 1 would 
be annihilated /" 

"Crucifixion! annihilation! why do we talk 
of these sublime honors, love ? I will do more 
for thae ! 1 will do for thee what millions of 
our brothers do for our sisters every hour. I 
will enter a life of hopeless and endless toil for 
thee, Winny. I will labor for thee night and 
day, and thou shult not ieel fatigue or know pri- 
vation," 

" Not so ! not so ! it shall be 1 who will work 
for you. I will be your servant, your slave 
and if fatigue comes if privation comes oh, it 
will be passing sweet ! when borne for you* 
Ah ! if pain comes, it will bring ecstacy not 
agony ! Ah ! I knew it ! it is wonderful it is 
beautiful it is divine it is true ! every pain 
endured for a beloved and loving one is no longer J 
a pain, but an exquisite pleasure! the deepest, 
strongest joy known in life ! a silent, hidden, 
profound, ecstatic trance of the soul that brings 
heaven down ! Oh ! my archangel ! may God 
give me the heaven of toiling and suffering for 
you!" And sbe fell again upon his bosom. He 
pressed her in silence there a moment, and then 
a heavy hand fell upon his shoulder, and shook 
him violently. Winny screamed and faint- 
ed. Ardenne shook off the hand raised Winny 
in his arms sprang up, and confronted Squire 
Darling ! 

It was wonderful the self-government with 
which the squire deported himself. Only the 
excessive paleness of his face, and the slight 
tremor of his frame betrayed the hidden rage, 
the suppressed thunder that shook him. 

" Put down my daughter, sir I" he command- 
ed, in a deep, stern voice. But Ardenne stoop- 
ed, and dipping water with his hand from the 
bubbling spring, bathed her face. 



23 

" Death, sir ! do you hear me ! put down my 
daughter!" he exclaimed; his fingers working 
involuntarily, as ihoug i with difficulry he kept 
his hands off the young man. Ardenne conti- 
nued to bathe the face of Winny who now show- 
ed tigns of recovery. 

" B 11 and furies, sir ! will you do as 1 tell 
you!" exclaimed the old man, losing all self- 
command, and running upon Ardenne who, seiz- 
ing his wrist with one hand, held hin. struggling 
at bay while he said 

"I am about to bear her to the house, place 
her in the care of the ladies, and then, Squire 
Darling, I shall wait upon yo& in your study, 
if you will give me the honor of an interview." 

" In the fiend's name go on then, sir ! I too 
am anxious as a lover ! ha ! ha ! for that 
same interview," replied the squire. 

Ardenne carried his fair ai;d beloved burden 
on, closely followed by the squire Sae recover- 
ed in his arms, and as she lay there she would 
open her gentle eyes and look at him so lovingly, 
then close them again in fear. 

They reached the house they entered through 
a side door. Sina Hmton was in tne way. It 
was her arms that received Winny from those of 
Ardenne. 

" Be tender with her, Miss Hinton dear Sina, 
be tender with her," whispered Ardenne, and 
turning, he bowed, and signified to Squire Dar- 
ling his readiness to accompany him to his btudy. 

"Come on, sir!" exclaimed that gentleman, 
in a tone as though he had said " Be hanged, 
sir!" 

Ardenne followed him into his study they 
were seated. 

" Squir* Darling, I love you; daughter!" 

The d 1 you do, sir !" 

"I wish to marry her!" 

Zounds ! to hear the fellow's impudence ! 
to say this to my very face. I never dreamed 
that he would dare this. 1 thought he wished 
to run away with her. Well! let's hear that 
over again," thought the squire, but he said 
" You wish to what ?" 

"I wish to marry Winny Darling, sir! and I 
ask your permission to pay my addresses to her." 

Good ! I like that ! that's cool, and above- 
1 oard I Hemm ! well ! what fortune are you 
1 repared to settle upon Miss Darling, sir ?" 

" A sound body and sound mind a heart 
that loves her ! hands that will labor for her I" 

" Very good ! and Miss Darling, my daugh- 
\ *r, the heiress of Oak Grove, is to leave her 
native halls, her troops of slaves, her luxu- 
i K>US home, her father's protection for what, 
sir ? if it please you to tell." 

For the humble home of a poor and strug- 
gling man, sir, for a life of industry, of frugali- 
ty, for a husband's devoted love," said the 
young man, with much dignity, "and she will 
be happier so, sir, for she loves me !" 



24 



SHANNONDALE. 



< Death and d n, sir I she loves you not! 
It is a lie ! and you are a" Here, losing all 
elf-control all sense of decency and propriety, 
the tquire broke forth into the most violent and 
shameful torrent of invective and abuse and 
concluded by thundering, 

Get out of my house, sir ! or by all that's 
holy, I will kick you out!" 

Livid with the rage suppressed for Winny's 
sake, the young man turned and left the study, 
and soon after left the house. The squire sank 
down into his chair, and wiped and wiped again 
the perspiration from his brow, his heart throb- 
bing as if it would choke him. This loss, this 
utter loss of all self command, had been what the 
squire had tried to guard against all day- -this 
was the reason why he had not followed Ardenne 
immediately when the latter arose and went 
after Winny from the dinner table. In his first 
interview with Sina Hinton, the surprise, the 
violence of the shock his feelings had received, 
had thrown him off his guard, and he had given 
way to the phrenzy of anger. When that was 
past, though still in a deep rage, he resolved to 
guard against its breaking out into fury and 
alarming his guests ; for, as I said, the squire 
had all the instincts of the gentleman and the 
host, but the open, upright frankness, which he call- 
ed the " cool impudence," of Ardenne, had dri- 
ven him mad. Now he sat with his light hair stick- 
ing str a gglingly out in every direction, with his 
blue eyes contracted, nis fair, red face streaming 
with perspiration, his fat knees apart, and hold- 
ing a large straw hat with both hands, as he 
fanned himself. After a little, he got up and 
rung the bell. A servant answered it. 

Send Miss Hinton to me, sink it ! go and 
say to Miss Hinton that I beg the favor of her 
presence for a few minutes in this study.'* 

The servant left the room. In an instant after, 
Sina glided in. 

" Sit down, Miss Hinton ! sit down, my dear! 
I have sent the young rascal about his business, 
my dear !" 

Alas, sir, friendly as I feel towards him," 
said Sina, putting her handkerchief to her face, 
" I must admit that his expulsion was well de- 
served !" 

" I reckon it was 1 The insolent fellow had 
the impudence to ask my permission to marry 
my daughter I Now, that was a great deal 
more assuming and presuming than if he had 
tried to elope with her," said the squire, wiping 
his face and furiously fanning himself. Ah, 
talking of elopements, where i* that poor little 
angel -I mean that wicked little daughter of 
mine 7" 

I carried her to my room, bocause it was 
nearest, sir she is lying on my bed." 

"Ah! go lock the door! go at once, Miss 
Hinton lock the door, and always keep the 
key yourself ; she shall be in your charge; when 



she wishes to come out, do not leave her side a 
moment !" 

Now, at first thought, Sina did not like this 
being constituted Winny's jailor, but a mo- 
ment's reflection taught her that this was the 
very way in which she would be best able to 
assist the intercourse of the lovers, and forward 
her own plans. She curtsied and withdrew from 
the study to obey the command. She went to 
her room, and found Winny still lying on the 
bed, with her hands pressed over her face, ana 
the tears stealing through her fingers. Sina 
stooped over her, kissed her tenderly, and whis- 
pered softly, 

"Winny, my dear love, your father your 
stern, harsh father has commanded me to lock 
you in ; have faith in me, Winny, have faith in 
me, dear child, and by seeming your jailor, I 
shall be your friend and assistant. You shall 
see your lover to-night," and the girl and 
double traitress doubly, trebly steeped in 
falsehood, locked the door and returned to the 
study. 

"Ah! very well very well, indeed!" said 
the squire, when he saw the key. Now, Miss 
Hinton, is the young villain the Black Prince 
gone 7" 

" I heard a servant say that he had taken his 
departure, sir, and that he had left directions 
to have his baggage forwarded to Harper's 
Ferry." 

Very well, it shall be done Miss Hinton !" 
Sir 7" 

" You are a very pretty girl ; give me a kiss." 
" I am a very plain, poor girl, sir, with no 
dower but my discretion." 

And a very good dower and by Heaven you 
shall have a better one," said the squire. 

" I offer you my duty, sir ; have you any far- 
ther commands for me 7" 

" No yes ! no that is to say, I have a ques- 
tion to ask. Has this disagreeable affair got 
wind among the visitors yet 7" 

"Not at all, sir. Mrs. and Miss Summerfield 
are in their chambers, in a remote part of the 
house and Colonel Dangerfield is out shooting 
with Harry Joy, and Father Burleigh has gone 
to marry a couple." 

"D n 'marrying a couple* it's all non- 
sense !" 

" Anything more, sir 7" 
" No ! be off with you ! you little prude ; you 
only stay here to worry me." 

And Sina Hinton curtsied and glided from the 
room with a singular smile on her lips. 

Sina met the priest as he came in from his 
mission. Good evening, Father Burleigh," 
she said, and hastened to take his staff and hat, 
and put them upon the rack and to offer him a 
chuir in the coolest part of the piazza. "I can- 
not think where Harry can be," said she, leaning 
over the balustrade and pretending to be looking 



SHANNONDALE. 



eagerly out then returning, she seaued ne^ell 
near the priest and said, in her insinuating tones, 
What a charming girl your niece is. Father 
Burleigh such a remarkable style of beauty, 
too such a fine expanded white brow ; does she 
resemble her mother?" and Sina fixed her eyes on 
his eyes, and slowly sent their glances deep into 
his very soul. Say, Father Burleigh, does she 
resemble her mother ?" 

Tne priest grew very pale, and trembled. 

"On!" said Sina, with a look of deep repen- 
tance, " perhaps you loved her mother very 
much and grieved very much over her death 
and I, indiscreet girl, have opened again the long 
closed wound. I am deeply grieved." 

The priest arose, tottered, grasped the chair 
and bank back into it. Sina ran and got a glass 
of water gave it to him with the softest words 
of sympathy and condolence, while her eye fixed 
triumphantly, maliciously upon his, said, 

" I have the deepest secret of your soul you 
are henceforth my slave. You have unbounded 
or almost unbounded power over your parish- 
ioners, over the families especially of Oak Grove 
and of Red-Stone ! You shall use it as I direct." 
And having driven this stake, she went to her 
room and in a disguised hand wrote the follow- 
ing short note to Edgar Ardenne : 

Your loved one is in the last, the very 

last extremity she lies like a flower beaten 
down by the storm ; nothing but your presence 
will revive her nothing but your presence this 
evening, will give her strength to bear the few 
days separation that must intervene between 
this and your marriage. Be, at ten this evening, 
at the place where we talked together this morn- 
ing, and 1 will conduct you to her. 
In haste and in peril, 

" You know who." 

It will be observed, that in this cautious note, 
there was neither name, date, locality, or any 
sufficiently distinct allusion to betray her, even if 
as a remote possibility it should fall into other 
hands than those intended to receive it. Be- 
sides, the hand was an imitation of that of ano- 
ther member of the family. While Sina sealed 
this letter she looked at Winny. Winny was 
lying on the bed very quiet, with her face half 
buried in the pillow apparently, perhaps really 
unconscious of the presence of any one else in the 
apartment. 

Sina glided from the room, down stairs and 
slipped the letter in the post-bag just as it was 
about to be carried off. So far, so good ! he j 
must think it necessary to carry Winny off to 
save her life ! Now for Winny, she must be 
made to believe it essential to the continuance of 
his existence, to be carried off by h<m." And 
Sina returned to her room, where Winny still 
lay. She went up to the side of the bed stoop- 
ed over Winny, laid her hand gently on the 



turobbing young head, drew aside th* golden 
ringlets that clung damp to her temples, kissed 
her tenderly, and murmured, in her soft melliflu- 
ous tone 

"Look up, my love; my love-sister look up 
and tell me how you are." 

Winny's white arms arose from the bed and 
drew the head of Sina down to hers in silence. 
Sina sat upon the side of the bed, nestled to her, 
raised her up, and laid her fair head upon her 
bosom, stroking her golden ringlets, kissing her, 
and cooing comfort all the while. 

" Sina ! what passed between between fa- 
ther and and him ?" 

" My dear Winny ! my little love, it is best 
you should not know !" said the artful girl, with 
a look of solemn meaning. 

This of course terrified the poor child, and 
stimulated her to fresh and urgent inquiry as 
it was intended to do. 

"Oh, tell me ! tell me, dearest Sina !" 

" My love ! my little darling it would only 
make you more miserable do not ask me !" 

Winny turned deadly sick with fear, and 
would have fainted but for the mental stimulus 
of her keen anxiety. 

Tbis dread is worse tnan certainty tell 
me !" faltered the white and trembling child. 

" Well, then, dear child, if you must have it, 
I will tell you. I happened to be in the pas- 
sage leading to the study he your father, 
I mean, talked loud, and I could not help 
hearing him. Edgar, like an honorable, high 
souled man as he is, did not seek to conceal any- 
thing ; he avowed his love for you ; admitted 
that he had nothing but a cabin and a life of in- 
dustry and frugality to t-hare with you, and " 

" And oh ! if father were willing ! it would be 
such a heaven to share that poverty ! Oh, it 
would be a divine joy to work and to bear pain 
for Edgar," said Winny, clasping her little white 
hands in a sort of ecstacy. 

" Tne inconceivable little idiot ! ' thought Sina 
to herself. 

Well, well ! what said father, Sina ?" 

He ! he broke out into fury ! he heaped every 
sort of obscene and blasphemous abuse upon Ar- 
denne." 

Oh, Mary Mother ! Oh, All -merciful Lord !" 
prayed Winny, with clasped hands and pallid 
brow" and Ardenne ! and Ardenne !" 

" He was your father, Winny, and that cir- 
cumstance struck your lover powerless before 
him. Any other man but your father must have 
perished then and there by the roused wrath or 
your lover the old bear would have been but as 
a child in the grasp of the young lion. But could 
he lay hands on your father? Ardenne was pale 
with the passion he controlled. He bore the 
taunts, the insults, the obscene epithets neaped 
upon his head, with the meekness! <;h! < ru the 
meekness of the lamb, for your sake, Winny !" 



26 



SHANNONDALE. 



Sin* -poke with so much eloquence ot words, 
ton*-*, and gestures, 'hat bad as she was, she 
must have in a degree felt what she uttered. 
Wmny had been white with terror at the com- 
mencement of the description the tears that 
had been frozen at their fountain now melted and 
ran down her cheeks but the lightning flashed 
through the shower as she said, 

Tuat contumely should be heaped upon his 
head ! My noble, my high-souled, my god-like 
one ! M y archangel ! and by my father ! But 
/even / will compensate him ! I, whom they 
call the heiress of Oak Grove ; to whom every 
one bows with such profound deference ; 1, be- 
fore whose small footsteps every one turns aside 
to make way; I, the only daughter of the 
haughty Darlings, will show him so much defer- 
ence, so much meekness, so much submission, 
an ' so, if contempt approach, 1 must absorb it 
it shall not touch my archangel ! He shall feel 
that nowever others, in their blindness, may 
mistake and contemn him, he is my archangel 
still!" 

f< But when do you expect to see him again, 
since he has left Oik Grove?" said Sina, break- 
ing in upon the maiden's enthusiasm. * What 
opportunity do you expect to find for all this 
compensation, my dearest Winny?" 

True f true ! Oh, Virgin Mother ! oh, pity- 
ing Sdviour! what will console him in his sor- 
row?" 

" You will! You spoke just now from the 
depths of your prophetic heart. It will be as you 
have dreamed and as you have said, but you 
must have faith and courage. Listen ! he loves 
you more than life ! to lose you would paralize 
all his energies, would strike him with imbe- 
cility, he would probably break his heart, com- 
mit suicide." 

Wmny again grew very pale. Might lose 

his reason and be sent to the lunatic asylum, 

and lastly and worst and most probable of all " 

Well t WH1 ?" gasped Wmny, clasping her 

hands. "Well? Well?" 

" Might and would, it is likely, take to drink, 
and in disappointment and despair become a sot 
like Mike L.mgton think of the degradation 
upon your arcnangel!" 

"Honor! horror! anything but that! Mad- 
ness ! death ! anything that would leave his me- 
mory honorable! anything but that!" 

" Aid it is so often the case now poor mise- 
rable Mike Langton was once a young lawyer of 
great talent and eloquence, the pride of the Vir- 
ginia bar, it was said that he would certainly 



cml.iren he whose talents opened for him the 
road to the highest distinction !" 

"Oh, All-merciful Father! not that fate for 
Ardenne! come degradation! come contempt to 
me rather!" 

Listen again! he will be here this evening. 
I will admit him when the company are at the 
height of their dancing in the saloon. He will 
ask you to fly with him do not refuse him." 

" But, oh merciful heaven ! my poor father I" 

" He trampled the honor of your lover under 
his feet!" said the astute Sina. 

The eyes of Winny flashed through their tears. 
Then Sina said calmly, 

" Nonsense ! Fathers make a great row be- 
forehand, but afterwards they all become agreea- 
ble enough. Your father would never consent 
to your marriage, but when you are once mar- 
ried, he will readily forgive you bow can he help 
it ? What good will it do him to retain his wick- 
ed anger, for do you not see, that though his 
anger might prevent your getting married, and 
is so far useful,. yet once married, his persistence 
in anger cannot unmarry you, and is therefore 
useless. He will be too wise to persevere in 
what is useless as well as wrong Besides, as 1 
said, he cannot help it. 5Tou are his only child. 
He loves you he cannot live without you." 

" Ah ! what an ungrateful child 1 should be to 
leave him then, my poor, old, fond father, my 
good father!" 

" He called Ardenne a , and an , and a " 

"On! for goodness sake hush! you make me 
deadly sick." 

" I was about to say before you stopped me 
first, that your father, as he cannot do without 
you, will when you are once married and the 
deed is done, receive you back. He loves and will 
continue to love you. He will forgive Ardenne, 
and love and honor him for your sake and do 
jrou not perceive that that will even neutralize the 
disgrace of the abuse he has received for that 
which would tarnish the honor of a man coming 
from another man, would lose its power coming 
from his father-in-law. It is no dishonor to 
bear indignity from one's father, you know!" 
"So it is not!" replied Wmny. 
" Come, darling, cheer up ! your fate looks 
smiling enough ! 1 will venture to predict that 
in one week from this time, Mrs. Ardenne will 
be receiving the congratulations of her iriends 
in her father's halls !" 

May Heaven grant it !" thought the blushing 
maiden. 

Squire Darling will push the fortunes of his 



have risen to the very highest rank in his pro- son-in-law, and Edgar Ardenne with 

fession he might have been Attorney General 

he might have been President of the United 
States at this moment, but he loved a lady who 
slighted his love, he took to drink, and now, at 
thirty-five years old, he is a tot, the scorn of the 
lowest and vilest, the butt and mockery of n* gro 



good 

field opened to his splendid talents, will rii,e to 
the highest distinctions in the gift of our coun- 
try!" 

" May the Lord in heaven grant it I" now 
fervently spoke Winny. 

" Wmny, durling ! if your father knew jvhat 



SHANNONDALE. 



27 



an interest I take in your innocent love, and 
what assistance I render you, he would never 



" Why wuat a diHgusting old soul ! I do nope 
he has not taken it into his head to fancy me for 



forgive me, however he might you, since / have j a wife! that would horribly defeat my purpose 
no claim upon him, since he has no pardoning J to be his daughter !" said Sina, looking back af- 
ter him, with a mixture of perplexity and con- 
tempt. Then she ran down stairs, and encoun- 
tered Colonel Dangerheld and Harry Joy, ju*t as 
they returned from their sporting exp^tition. 
Harry's broad white brow shining between its 
clusters of short-clipped black curls her straw 



never know it from me. 



e me do not imagine that I have any con- hat banging an one arm, while a short fowling 



love for me. Winny, he would turn me out of 
doors, and I should be cast helpless on the 
world." 

" He shall never, 
dearest, best Sina !" 

O'i! my dear love, do not so cruelly mis- 
tak 

cealments! I despise concealments, except in 
immiaent cases, like that of yours and of Arden- 
ne's No, no, Winny ! tell him, if you like ! I 
do not care if he does cast me forth ! 1 despise 
secretiveness, and I am willing to be killed for 
my friends !" 

<> Oh, brave and frank Sina ! do not be rashly 
candid ! 1 am younger than you, and yet I find 
it necessary to warn you not to be so defiantly 
frank ! It is worse than useless to beard my 
father with such an uncalled-for frankness ! As 
for me, I would not for the world hint your 
generous, self devoted participation in this. 
Your disinterested participation, that brings you 
no goort 5 while it exposes you to such risk!" 

Sina smiled to herself her end was achieved 
secrecy as to her interference was pledged 
from Winny, as it had been from Ardenne, with- 
out her seeming to care that it should be so. 

' Now, love," she said, kissing her, " you are 
not able to go down into the ball-room to-night 
you must remain here 1 will send you some 
tea and toast;" and Sina arose, and left the 
room On the first landing she met Squire Darling. 

How is my little unfortunate ?" 

" Oh ! more cheerful, sir ! far more cheerful, 
but not able, I think, to bear the excitement of 
the ball-room !" 

" We must make excuses for her, and try to 
let her absence be as little observed as possible. 
Fortunately my good mother has retired to bed, 
without having inquired for her imagining her, 
I suppose, to be in the chamber of her Aunt 
Summerfield." 

" Um-m me," cooed Sina, " that is so well ! 
It would be such a pity that the dear old lady 
fhould be disturbed." 

"Sina!" 

"SirJ" 

"On my soul, Sina, you have got the 
sweetest, softest voice in the world ! It it's 

perfect music! it's it's cotton-wool! -one 

could sink down into it! it -it makes me feel 
lazy it it it is oil! it runs all over me! 
Sinu ! Tm doomed ! if I know what to do !" He 
caught both her hands in his. She raised her 
large dark eyes to his. "And your eyes! 
two large, saft, floating worlds, that make 
me sea nick ! there ! go ! or I shall make a 
jackass of myself!" and whirling her away 
from him, the squire waddled off. 



piece rested within the other. 

" You are late, miss much of the expected 
company have arrived, and are in their rooms, 
changing their dresses." 

( ' Yes, 1 know it! and there are more coming ! 
I have had to run the gauntlet in a manner, be- 
tween rows of carriages and saucy, inquisitive 
negroes! but never mind, Colonel Dang^rfield 
was at my side!" and Harry let, fly a bright 
glance at the gentleman named. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE SALOON AND THE BOWER. 

A thousand Hearts beat happily, and when 

Music arose with its voluptuous swell, 
So't eves looked 1 >ve to eye* that spike again, 

And all went merry as a marriage bell. 
***** 

Pat tings *uoh as pres< 

' lie uTe ion) ut youn=r he iris; and chor >ns ^ighs 
That ne'e might e re eated. Byron 

We will take a glance into the saloon first. Only 
a glance, for Winny is absent Winny, who, as 
the daughter of the host, should be " the britjht 
particular star," " the star of that goodly com- 
pany." Miss Hinton, arrayed in a mazarine blue 
satin that became her dark style well, and ha- 
ving her hair in long black ringlets, received the 
company with much grace. Squire Darling 
stood on her right, his stout figure and fresh toi- 
let, his fair Saxon face and fair curling hair 
looking the very picture of a debonair country 
gentleman. No one, as he smiled and bowed 
and wiped his brow, and welcomed his guests 
and chattered to his attractive assistant Sina 
no, not a soul would have believed that, he had, 
in a manner, just kicked the tutor out of doors 
and locked his daughter up. And as for S.na 
who, to see her smiling and cooing, patronizing 
or consoling, could have believed that she was 
at the bottom of all the trouble Sina coos to 
him, smiles on him, and leans heavily upon his 
stout arm. He holds her arm rather tigher than 
strictly necessary, clipping it close to his side; 
he holds her vinaigrette and wields her fan, and 
presents every stranger who conies up to "My 
cousin, Miss Hinton, of Georgetown " 

Imogene Summerfield, Queen of Beauty, held 
her stately court at another end of the room. 



23 



SHANNONDALE. 



Mrs. Summerfield sat on her left hand. Col. Dan- 
gerfield stood behind her chair, partly reclining 
upon it as he conversed with her! General 

W n, General G s. Col. Y 8, the 

Hon. I R e, and others of the most 

distinguished men of that distinguished epoch 
stood around her. Harry Joy held her little co- 
terie of mad-caps in the middle of the floor under 
the great central lamp, and just now Harry's 
silver laugh was the most pleasant sound heard 
in the room. And as the music struck up, a 
dozen hands pressed eagerly forward to engage 
Harry for the set, but the laughing girl whirled 
out of their ring and pirouetting away, said that 
she had promised Sina Hinton to dance with the 
squire. She was at his side, panting and laugh- 
ing, 

" So you see, Squire Darling, I memorized,' 
as old Aunt Nerve says, my engagement; I 
thought perhaps that you would not 'memo- 
rize' yours, so I came to fetch you!" 

" Weil, mad-cap ! 1 am your very humble ser- 
vant, if Miss Hinton will excuse me." 

" Of course Miss Hinton would." She smiled, 
cooed, curtsied, and they left her to take their 
places at the head of the dance. Sina waited 
till they had fairly begun the quadrille, and then 
she mingled with the crowd and unobservedly 
left the room. She paused in the hall and looked 
at her watch in trepidation, it was a quarter 
past ten she hurried on, fearing that Ardenne 
might have left the arbor despairing of seeing 
her. She reached the arbor, entered he was 
there, he started up, saying, 

" My dear Miss Hinton ! thank you ! I have 
been waiting here two hours!" 

" I was afraid you had left." 

" I should have waited here till midnight." 

U-m-m-me," cooed Sina. " I feel so sorry 
that you had to wait, but in truth this is the first 
moment at which I could escape from the ball- 
room the first moment, indeed, when it would 
be at all safe for you to enter the house." 

" I came with no such purpose, but only to 
hear of Winny how is she ?" 

" Winny is half dead most anxiously expect- 
ing you ! and yet you say you came with no such 
purpose is entering tke hou.se .'" 

" alas! Mis Hinton, shall I re-enter as a thief 
the house from whence 1 have been driven ?" 

"Ar<l*>nne! you break my heart! Why do 
you talk so ? Heaven knows that I would be 
the very last to advise you to a dishonorable 
course! But how now? The young mistress 
of the house invites you to enter it implores 
you to come ! Ardenne, if you had seen her as 
/ have s^. n her to day broken, prostrate, tear- 
ful, like a rain beaten lily ; pale with dread for 
you, pale with anxiety a^ain to see you; yet 
uttering high words of hop*> and courage, be- 
cause she exprctfd to see you! hut I ought not 
to tell you this I betray the confidence of the 



sweet girl ! who even now lies renting her huf 
head upon her dimpled elbow, listening foi every 
sound, hoping it to be us! and sinking back to 
disappointment, as it ceases!" 

"Lead on, Miss Hinton! I follow you," said 
Ardenne, unable to resist the vivid and tempt- 
ing picture presented to his imagination 

They left the arbor. They made a circuit 
and reached the house by the back way. 

" We can enter unobserved, for even the ser- 
vants are all collected in the passage," said Sina. 

They passed in without attracting attention, 
and reached the chamber mutually occupied by 
Miss Darling and Sina Hinton. Sina was about 
to withdraw, but Ardenne drew her in, saying, 

" No, you must not leave ; for her sake you 
must be present during this interview," and 
Sina, who desired nothing better, accompanied 
him in. 

Winny had risen and seated herself at the win- 
dow. Ardenne entered a strange awe creep- 
ing over him to find himselt in Winny's sacred 
chamber. She arose and fell weeping into his 
extended arms ; he pressed her to his bosom, ca- 
ressed and soothed her ; then reseated her and 
stood deferentially before her. 

" You will, you will forgive my father's vio- 
lence, Ardenne ?' 

The color rushed to the young man's brow at 
the sudden recollection he was silent. 

Father will be sorry for it he will bitterly 
regret it. Ah, Ardenne ! it has shaken to its 
foundation the affection of his only child for him. 
You will forgive him now, Ardenne !" 

Edgar choked with his effort to govern a 
strongly rising emotion. 

" You know, Ardenne, that he is so much 
older than you age, like womanhood, nas a cer- 
tain privilege a man of honor may take a good 
deal from the one or the other without being 
called upon to resent it ! Say, you will not har- 
bor resentment against my father? Nay, at 
least speak to me." 

Winny dearest I love you more than life ' 
will that content you?" 

"No no now it will not!" said Winny, 
trembling violently ; " forgive my father no 
thing else will content me !" 

" Winny ! does he ask forgiveness ? Winny, 
there are words never to be forgotten or for- 
given, until the injurer seeks that forgiveness !" 

"Oh! I shall suffer so much between you 
both, if you are not friends bethink you ! my 
father is proud and violent tempered 

" And Edgar is high-toned and sensitive you 
ask impossibilities of him, as yet," said Sina 
Hinton ; " the memory of his wrongs is yet too 
fresh ; have patience, all will be well." 

"Ah!" said Wmny, through her tears, "1 
should perhap< rather a<k forgiveness for myself 
for recalling it to your mind, Ardanne. 1 '-vill say 
no more about it sit cio\vn by me, Ardenne." 



SHANNONDALE. 



29 



"Darling Winny ! this I will promise you I \ dear, good, tender father, is passionate, but for- 
wUl never be provoked by anything your father ! giving. I know he will pardon ; Sina, who 
may say or do to me, to any retort upon him ! knows him well, Sina, who is not biassed by 
HTin W T wi ii ~ * fi^ us- , -- | her feelings, Sina, who has so much judgment, 

a?* so. Come here, Sina." 

And Sina glided from the other end of the 
room, to the side of Winny, caressed, cajoled, 
soothed, reassured her. 

It is useless to repeat the persuasive sophis- 
tries of this unprincipled and dangerous girl. It 
is sufficient to say that then and there the plan, 
the time and the p ace of the elopement were 
arranged. Ardenne took his leave. Winny 
sunk weeping upon the false, soft bosom of her 
treacherous friend. Sina laid her down, and 
returned quickly, and with some trepidation, to 
the ball-room. All was safe for her there, how- 
ever. 

Where have you been, you wretched little 
flirt 1" questioned the squire. 

With Winny." 

" Ah, you spoil that naughty child poor little 
thing how is she ?" 

" Very well ! asleep, I believe, now." 

" Ah ! hum ! I knew she would get over her 
crying fits and fainting fits ! that's right!" 



and, Winny, I will try to forgive him ! and, my 
own blessed angel, you will teach me how!" 

A burst of music from the saloon pealed into 
the room. 

< Come ! dear Edgar, and dearest Winny, you 
must make this interview short- They havi 
just corrmenced the last quadrille of the set. A 
its close the squire will be looking for me am 
Edgar! a word with you." She drew him apart 
" Do not be weak, do not leave her here to die 
of a broken heart marry her all will be righ 
in a few days." 

These words were hastily whispered, and Sina 
retired to a distant part of the room, under the 
pretence of arranging her black ringlets, and the 
folds of her deep blue satin, before the dressing 
glass. 

'' And must you go so soon ?" said Winny. 
" My dear love ! yes." 

So soon ! and when will you come again ?" 
He looked at her sweet, wan face; it had 
grown pale and peaked by a few hours of grief ; 
but even that could not mar its extreme beauty 
How earnest, how anxious how imploring she 
looked, with her delicate, pale, rose lips breath 
lessly apart, her deep blue eyes, their lashes 
spangled with tears, raised to his. He resumed 
his seat at her side, took her hand, and said, 

Winny ! it depends upon yourself whether or 
not I ever come again !" 

"Then indeed you will come again." 
Winny, if I come again, it will be to take 
you hence as my wife. 

She clasped both her hands together and shud- 
dered with a strange, wild blending of fear and 
joy. He was looking at her earnestly, sadly, 
almost solemnly* 

Winny, I wiU not deceive thee ; if thy fa- 
ther will not forgive thee, Winny " 
Oh, but my father will he will !" 
Yet, if he should not, Winny, our life thy 
life will be one of great toil of great priva- 
tion. With his countenance, with his interest 
and influence, without the slightest pecuniary 
assistance from him, which, indeed, dear Win- 
ny, I should be loath to accept I should pro- 
sper ; but if he were to set his face against me, 
it is due you to tell you this, my love if he 
were to set his face against me there is not a 
father in the State but would take sides with 
him, and success here would be impossible, and 
my poor Winny would have to suffer extreme 
poverty here, or exile to some far Western 
State." 

Ah ! if my father should be relentless, that 
in itself would be the very worst calamity that 
could fall upon us! Nothing, after that no 
Labor, privation, poverty, could affect me much 
but that will not be the case; father my 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE HAUNTER OF THE SACRED HEART, 

It was about to speak * * * # 
And then it started like a guilty thing * # 
But soft behold, lo ! where it comes again ! 
I'll cross it tho' it blast me ! stay, illusion! 
If thou hast any sound, or use a voice, 
Speak to me ! Ska&speare. 

Down in one of those picturesque gaps of the 
Blue Ridge, watered by a branch of the Shenan- 
doah, stood the old Catholic Chapel of the Sa- 
cred Heart, erected by the first American Sum- 
merfield. It was a small gothic building, con- 
structed of red sand-stone, in the form of a cross, 
with a tower and steeple at the end. It was 
surrounded by a graveyard, in which reposed 
he mortal remains of all the Summerfield fa- 
mily. Adjoining this chapel was a small cot- 
age, built also of red sand-stone, and surrounded 
with a small garden-yard; farther off, an or- 
chard of various kinds of fruit trees. This mo- 
dest dwelling was the home of the old priest, 
Tather Burleigh, his niece Harry, and his house- 
keeper, Miss Matilda or Mattie Smilie, an an- 
ient maiden and a lay sister of the order of 
Mount Carmel. It was a very poor-looking 
ouse for a clergyman. It wanted all those 
ittle comforts and luxuries with which zealous 
Catholics love to surround their Father in the 
jord. Not but that the few parishioners of the 
Id priest were kind and liberal, and wished to 
nrich him, but because they were few, and 



30 



SHANNONDALE. 



numbered among f bem hut three wealtby neads 
of families namelv. Squire Darling, Mrs Sum- 
mer tu-d and Colonel Dangerfield ; and the muni- 
ficent gifts of these three were scattered among 
the surrounding poor of every denomination. 
Father Burleigh kept his vow of poverty in spi- 
rit as in letter. Nevertheless, sometimes Fa- 
ther Burleigh gave little feasts to his < chil- 
dren," and filled his small house and grounds 
with the old and young of botb sexes of his 
flock. The whole glen, containing the chapel, 
with its graveyard, and the cottage, with its 
grounds, was cut off from all other neighbor- 
hoods by high, pine-covered mountains, and wa- 
tered by the Sacred Stream, a branch of the 
Shenandoah. It was a very lonesome place. 
Night came sooner and lingered longer there 
than anywhere else Day came later and de- 
parted sooner. The sun was some time in reach- 
ing the top of the East Mountain, and then in a 
few hours it would cross and sink behind the 
West Mountain. One narrow path led down be- 
tween these mountains to the glen ; this was 
used only by horse or foot passengers Carriages 
approached from the opposite shore of the river, 
crossing by a ferry-boat the ferry-house being 
on the said opposite side. 

One night, about a week from the events of 
our last chapter, in the nicely-sanded kitchen of 
the priest's cottage, glowed a dull fire, by the 
murky light of which sat two persons talking 
very earnestly. The first was Miss Smilie, the 
lay-nun and housekeeper. Miss Mattie Smilie 
was not the stereotyped old maid of popular 
literature, there was nothing stiff in her man- 
ner, or sour or bitter in her heart neither was 
she tall, prim and angular, as the model old 
maid of novels ought to be. She was exactly 
opposite ; she was short, fat, fair, with gray 
hair, nay, white hair, not ashamed to show its 
silvery softness under her clean white cap with 
smiling blue eyes, and smiling lips, in fact, 
with a smile all over her face half-beatifica- 
tion, half bonhommie. Indeed, folks who loved 
the dear old lady used to laugh to think how well 
her soft, merry name, suggestive as it was of 
all pleasant and kindly things, described her in 
itself. How full of goodness and humor her 
quiet smile was ! Bu> now, as she sat picking 
cotton in the old elbow chair, and talking ear- 
with her companion, her smile was some- 
./HV*. T^iit companion was no other 
than Angela, the old negro housekeeper of Red- 
Stone Hall, sent by Mrs. Summerfield, with pre 
entn of preserves, pickles, cordials, &c., from 
the new "Btillu-g" at her hou*e Their onver- 
satior .id commenced lightly enough. Angela. 
or - Gelly," as the invariable habit of abbrevia- 
tion dubbed her; Gelly had entered with the bas- 
ket on her arm. had saluted the housekeeper re- 
fcp'-cMnlly, and had *unk <'own heavily for 
Gelly was a weighty bod> into the chair set 



for her by Miss Mattie, and had begun her talk 
before she noticed the unwonted gloom upon the 
usually pleasant countenance of Miss Mattie 



" I have fotch over some pickles and 'serves 
and cordials, as the madam sont for ole marker " 

" Mrs. Summerfield sent for Father Rnrleigh?" 

' Yes, chile, we-dem jes done a-doir* ot um 
this evenin'. We-dem been very busy up there 
at the hall ! 1 'clare to my hebenly Marser it I 
ain't all but runned off my legs There's two 
cotton carders and two woollen carders and two 
cotton spinners, and two woollen spinners, and a 
cotton cloth, a woollen cloth and a linen cloth 
weaver, and a carper weaver, and a counterpane 
weaver, all for me to look arter in the factory- 
rooms, and then there's the 'serves" 

" Haven't you almost done preserving ?" 

Lor', chile no ! We done put up the cherries 
and strawberries and raspberries, and made the 
blackberry jam and cherry bounce, and ail that 
as comes more yearly in the season like, but 
lor! you know, chile, the worst, part of the 
serving and stilling i? to come yet, when the 
quinces and the pears and peaches, and the cit- 
rons and melons come on, and then we've got to 
make peach brandy and currant wine, besides 
currant jelly and apple brandy, and the elder 
wine I 'clare to my hebenly Jesus ef I ain't all 
but ready to drap right down !" 

" Well ! never rnind, when the stilling and 
pickling and preserving is all over you can rest," 
smiled the good natured Miss Mattie. 

" Rest ! catch me resting ! You want this nig- 
ger sold to Gr-orgy don't you ? No indeed, arter 
'stilling and 'serving is over, then there comes 
more picklin', and then arter that, cuttin' out 
the niggers' winter clothes and makin' of um 
up, and then hog-killing and beef-killing time, 
and meat curing time the Lord have massy 
upon us, it ain't a nothing but one thing arter 
another from one year's ind to the t'other !" 

" But you don't have to do it yourself." 

"No, but I haves to see arter it all. I haves 
to walk arter them there lazy niggers from 
mornin' till night, if I didn't, not one of them 
there huzzies would do a single stroke of work ! 
not one of them yearns their salt any how Lord 
a- massy ! I wish / was their mist'ess, I'd make 
some on 'em jump!" 

" Mrs. Summerfield is merciful." 

'Taint no massy t o spile a raft o' lazy nig- 
gers ! 'twa'n't so in ole madam's time ! 1 gits 
out o' all manner of patience a trotting arter 
them there gals!" 

" You must bear your cross cheerfully." 

1 do ! I totes my crosses as strong as any- 
body does, only 1 get tired and mad sometimes." 

" You should take patience." 

"Ida! \ takes so much patience that I'm 
afeard there is riot any left for anybody else, and 
it makes me feel like a thief." 



SH ANNOND ALE. 



31 



"The Lord's treasury is infinite the more 
fou take out of it, the more is left behind ; and 
pou do not rob, but enrich others by drawing 
freely from it for example spreads a little 
eaven leaveneth the whole.' " 
" A what ?" 

" I mean the virtue of one person in a com- 
munity, is like a spoonfull of brewer's yeast in a 
batch of dough it goes through it all. Example 
catching." 

I hope it ain't about here I Oh, yes-! I see ! 
if I have patience, people will catch it from me 
like the small-pox !" 
"Yes." 

"Weil, then, I must try but Sam wastes 
round me a good deal I" 

'Every one has their trials, Gelly!" said 
Vliss Mattie, with a meek smile J have 
ine !" 

" You have yours ! what are they ? Won't 
Miss Harry mend her stockings ?' 
"Worse than that!" 
What then ?" 

" I'm haunted a speerit walks about here !" 
" Oa h-h Lor-r-r-d !" cried the old woman, 
casting a fearful glance around her. 

"Truth, I'm tellin' you! it walks in the 
church-yard about this time o' night !" 
"Holy Mary!" exclaimed the old woman, 
rossing herself. 
"Yes!" 
"How long?" 

Why, you see, I'll tell you" said the old 
ady, in a mysterious whisper. " Yesterday 
no, the day before yesterday Harry went to 
pend the day out. Well! in the evening, a 
messenger comes after Father Burleigh to go 
and confess a penitent that was about to die. 
Veil ! there was a thunder-gust coming up, but 
'ather Burleigh never stopped for that. The 
torm arose just about the time he was a setting 
if, but on he went. I was left alone here in all 
the storm but still I was better off than be 
who was exposed to its fury. Well ! it stormed 
very hard, but it was very soon over. And 
when night came on, I began to think of going 
out into the pines to get brush and pine-knots to 
make a quick fire to get Father Burleigh's sup- 
per. Well, child, bless your soul I put on Fa- 
ther Burleigh's long coat his old one to keep 
the damp out, and I goes out. It was pitch dark, 
and nothing to be seen but the lonesome stars, 
and nothing to be heard but the roaring of the 
river, flooded by the rain. Well, child, I went 
over the stile into the church-yard to get to the 
forest ; the nighest way and the driest way; and 
1 was about half way across the ground, there 
by the grave of old Mrs. Summerfield, when I 
happens to look up, and lo ! and behold ! there 
stood a figure, three feet in front of me shining 
white in the black darkness ! I like to fainted ; 
I don't know what kept me up ! There it stood ! 



with its black hair streaming, and its black 
brows frowning, and its pale cheeks white as 
the clothes it wore." 
" It was an optional allusion." 
A what ?" 

" An optional allusion that is, seein' a thing 
that ain't there!" 

" Yes, but it was there, child ! and I like to 
have dropped down; how's ever, 1 turned right 
round and went back and turned into the spring- 
road. Well, child I I went on a few yards and I 
come nigh the spring, and I looked up and there 
stood the speerit ! right before me again. My 
heart sunk right down, and my head spun round 
and well, I turned back a second time, and 
thought I would go home ; for it seemed like a 
tempting of Providence to go on. Well, child! 
true as I am telling of you I went up the nai- 
row path a trembling so 1 could hardly stand, for 
there warn't a yearthly soul on the premises but 
myself and the speerit Well, child! just as 1 
got almost home, I heard a sigh and looking up 
to see where it come from, there stood the speerit ! 
I bursted out into a perspiration, and 1 said In 
the name o^"the Father, and o^fthe Son, and off 
the Holy Ghost, what do you want ?' Well ! us 
soon as the speerit heer'd that, it vanished." 
De Lord ! !" 

" Yes well I don't know how I ever got to 
the house. Father Burleigh came home late 
that night, and I told him all about it, but he 
wouldn't pay any heed to it he said it was 
imagination.' Miss Harry didn't come home 
that night, and she hasn't come home yet- Yes- 
terday morning Father Burleigh went over in 
Farquier to see a sick 'oman and staid all day. 
When night came I expected him home and 
went out to pick up chips to get his tea. Well, 
child ! I took another track. I didn't like to go 
nigh the graveyard, and so 1 turns up the path 
leading away from the glen up the mountain be- 
hind- Well, child ! it was yearly in the evenin' 
and I can't say as I felt much afeard ! but God 
bless your soul, as I looked up, 'way up the hill 
and a-coming down was the speerit, with its 
black hair and ghastly face, and its white robe, 
all shining in the star light." 

"Hush, honey!" 

" I turned and ran ! Father Burleigh came 
home yearly this mornin', and I told him that I 
had seen the speerit again, and when and where 
I had seen it. Well, child, this time he listen* 
to me, and to-night this very night, he says 
he'll keep watch tor it himself!" 

" Hush, honey !" again exclaimed the half- 
terrifipd, half-incredulous negress. 

" I have my thoughts ! I think it is some per- 
turbed speerit from purgatory, who wants masses 
said for the repose of its soul !" 

<* De Lord Jesus ! 1 shall be ate>red to go 
home to-- ight I shall stay here 'long o' you 
'tii morning, aoney!" 



32 



S H A N N O N D A L E. 



;i So Ho. My goodness! hpre comes 
Burleigh now, and tae tea-kettle ain't on 
tea!' aid the bustling little old housekeeper, 
fidgetting about the kitchen to prepare supper 

The priest entered the kitchen, leaning hea- 
vily upon his staff. He laid it down, put off his 
square-topped cap, and sank wearily in his 
chair, without speaking. Old Gelly arose, curt- 
sied, and respectfully remained standing, while 
th ol'! man's tea was getting ready. 

Has Harriette returned I" he asked, with 
some anxiety, of the housekeeoer. 
No. sir." 
Where is she ?" 

Your reverence knows, sir, that Miss Harry 
left here to go to Oak Grove. I suppose she is 
there with Miss Winny. Though Miss Harry 
and IMisi Hinton are the best friends." 

Mus Hinton ! I utterly object to that asso- 
ciation, Mattie. If Harriette returns while I am 
out to-morrow, tell her so !" 

The placid housekeeper promised compliance, 
and set the tea on the table. 

The old priest changed his boots for slippers, 
and drew his chair to the table. 

When supper was over, and the table-cloth 
removed, and the reading-lamp lighted and set 
upon it, and Father Burleigh had taken down a 
volume of the " Lives of the Saints," and laying 
it on the table, had opened and commenced read- 
ing, Miss Mattie went up to him. and with a 
meek, half-chastened tone, said 
fit Have you forgotten, Father Burleigh ?" 
Forgotten what ?" 
The poor souls in purgatory." 
<" By no means, my good Mattie what mean 
you by the question?" 

" 1 mean you know the speerit I saw !" 
< Oh, nonsense, my good soul ! Some mis- 
chievous person is practising on your credulity, 
to am ise him or herself with your fright." 
" But your reverence promised " 
1 promised to investigate it. I will do so," 
and the old man, resuming his cap and his staff', 
went forth. 

It was very dark 5 the lofty mountains loomed 
gloomily into the clouded sky ; the hollow moan 
of a rising wind through the forest, and the 
hoarse murmur of the swollen river, as it swept 
past, were the only sounds that disturbed the 
otherwise dead silence. The priest looked 
around upon the murky darkness of the sullen 
scene, and seemed to find a morose pleasure in 
its aisimilitude to his own soul ; then, with an 
imperceptible smile at bis own credulity, he 
turned his steps to where the white tombstones 
of tie church-yard gleamed faintly out in the 
darkness. He passed the little gate, and was 
within the enclosure. Nothing was to be seen 



hu - near, the white and spectral-looking tomb 
stones, and far, the dark and looming moun 
tains; and nothing was to be heard but th< 
hollow groans of the wind among the mountain 
pines, answered by the hoarse moan of th< 
river at their base. A vague, but awful terror 
or presentiment or some equally fearful influ 
ence, weighed down the spirit of the priest, an< 
he was about to retrace his steps, when 

"At last!" exclaimed a thrilling voice, nea: 
him. 

An icy chill ran through the veins of thi 
priest his blood curdled. He was neither cow 
ardly nor superstitious, but the time, the place 
the circumstances, his shattered nervous system 
certain dark memories of the past, all conspir 
ed to betray his courage. He looked around, bu 
saw nothing nothing but the old chapel, ttu 
spectral tomb-stones, and the giant mountains. 
" Who speaks ?" he asked, in a quivering 
voice. 

" Who listens ?" was the response. 
" It is 1 Father Burleigh pastor of the Sa- 
cred Heart Parish and who art thou? } 

" One who knows the deepest secrets of thy soui 
Barnabas Burleigh^ pastor of the Sacred Heart! 3 ' 
Again the blood of the old priest was turnec 
back in its course. 

" And what what wouldst thou with me V 4 
gasped the unhappy man, as his knees smote to- 
gether. 

"Follow me !" replied the voice ; and at the 
same moment a figure clothed in white emerged 
from the deep darkness, and glided up the path 
before him leading to the chapel. 

The priest followed, with tottering steps, de- 
spite the support of the staff he leaned upon. 
The figure paused at the church door. 
" Open it /" said the mystery, receding, and 
leaving the way unobstructed for the priest to 
pass. 

Father Burleigh stooped, and drawing the key 
from its hiding-place under the door-step, un- 
locked the door and entered. The white figure 
glided after him. The priest gained the steps 
of the altar, struck a light, and turning with a 
newly summoned courage for there was a feel- 
ing of sanctity, of safety, in the walls of the 
church in the precincts of the altar he flashed 
its light upon the advancing figure, and said, in 
a stern voice, and with a frowning, though pal- 
lid brow 

"Come! approach, intruding spy! reveal 
thyself!" 

The figure walked straight up the aisle, 
paused before the blazing torch, threw back a 
large, muffling, white muslin veil, and revealed 
the face of Sina Hinton, sparkling with the light 
of its insolent defiance and malignant joy ( 



SHANNON DALE.. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE EVIL SPIRIT. 

By thy cold breast and serpent smile, 

By thy unfathomed gulfs of guile, 

By that mo>t seeming virtuous eye, 

By thy shut soul'> hypocrisy, 

By the perfection of thine art, 

That passed for human thine own heart, 

By thy delight in others' pain, 

And by thy sisterhood of Cain, 

I call upon thee, and compel 

Thyself to be thy proper hell Byron 

"Dark, dreadful girl! what wouldst thou 
with me?" 

It was some moments before she replied ; and in 
that time her eyes were fixed upon his as though 
she would strike that sharp, bright glance deep 
into the profoundest depths of his soul, and read 
there how much of principle might remain to de- 
fend how much of fear to betray him into her 
power. 

Alas ! the eyes of the anointed priest quailed 
and fell before those of the sinful girl. 

Then she laughed aloud and said, "Oh! 1 
have no secrets from you! Come hither, Father !" 
and drawing him into a side pew, she sat down 
before him. The priest trembled in every limb, 
and covered his face with his hands. I looked 
into your soul just. now to satisfy myself of what 
1 almost knew before that is, that I should find 
a coadjutor not a betrayer in you !" 

Lost girl ! That your purposes are all bad, 
I read in the fiend-like exultation of your coun- 
tenance ! Dare you count upon my co-operation ?" 

" Yes ! I am mistress of your secret !" 

"And though that secret, wretched girl, 
should consign me to a " 

"Scaffold! 39 

The old man shuddered from head to foot as 
he faltered 

" And even then, detestable girl, do you think 
that I will lend myself to any wicked purpose of 
yours?" 

Poh! exclaimed Sina, with infinite disgust. 
" You judge my purpose by your past. I have no- 
thing- In hand, at which your moral cowardice 
shall shrink, for I have nothing in hand that 
shall break any one of the ten commandments, 
or any law of the land as it happens!" 

As it happens? And if it were otherwise ?" 
inquired the priest, fixing his piercing black eyes 
upon those of Sina, and seeming for the moment 
even to lose his fears in serious contemplation 
of this singular being 

She did not quail under that glance, as she re- 
plied, boldly If it were otherwise, it would 
make no whit of difference with ine whatever 
it might with you!" 

Audacious girl you glory in your wicked- 
ness!" 



" 1 TRIUMPH IN MY POWER \" 

"Woman! you are transfigured before me! 
Your eyes flare! they flame! You are n ri< !" 

"You have a fine imagination, Father, t ough 
rather a diabolical one fine, as that of th moon- 
struck poet, Ardenne, who calls me an augel, 
and whose fancies, in contradistinction of your 
own, may be called celestial. Now, neither of 
you have hit it ! This is the truth. There was 
in me, as in you, and in us all, originally, an 
angel and a devil, striving for pre-eminence. 
They kept up in my soul such an eternal war 
that I had no peace between them, so I just 
strangled and cast out the angel, and the fiend 
has quiet possession. 1 advise you to do the 
same!" 

The priest was leaning over the front of the 
pew, contemplating her as she sat there. " Sa- 
tanic wisdom!" 

" Discord in the soul is weakness war in the 
soul is impotency ; so long as the good and evil 
strive in us, we have no will, no individuality, 
no life it is only at the end of the struggle that 
we are born into life, the life of an angel or of a 
devil even in this world and that life brings 
power! grand power! Napoleon never would 
have been Emperor, if he had not possessed a 
vigorous will, and early put an end to the inner 
struggle early strangled and cast out the angel ! 
_The life that you see around you, is not life, but 
a chaos of good and evil impulses in which indi- 
viduality < myself is lost. Three destinies 
await the soul at the death of the body ac gel- 
life, demon-life, or annihilation; angel-life to 
those who have expelled the fiend demon-life 
to those who have cast out the angel annihila* 
tion to those weak souls lost in the struggle. As 
weak infants perish in the crisis of birth, or even 
before so weak souls perish in the crisis of 
death, or even before. IMMORTALITY is FOR 
THOSE ONLY, WHO ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO GRASP 
IT!" 

Incarnate fiend ! have you chosen this holy 
ground to deliver your diabolical heresies only ? 
or have you any other purpose ? If so, speak it I 
for my soul is scorched by your presence as my 
body would be by the proximity of a conflagra- 
tion!" 

< Go on, sir ! my father who was expert at 
gambling used to say that it was the privilege 
of the beaten to swear!" 

" Will you tell me why you seek me in this 
secret way ?" 

" Truth, Father, I love to prolong this conver- 
sation ! It is so seldom 1 find one with whom I 
can be really frank as I can with you it is quite 
refreshing !' 

The fingers of the priest worked convulsively, 
his sunken eyes flashed for an instant and then 
fell a power as of myriads of angels had sought 
to draw him away a power as of hosts of de- 
mons held him to his seat. The hour and the 



34 



SHANNONDALE. 



place, d^p, dark night, ttie interior of the lone 
old cnurcb, tnVpfesence of this evil spirit scarce 
ly-l^s* t*rribl to him than if d ^embodied, all 
acte<i ;ij. :>rrkus shattered nerves and held him in 
a 8 ta less imbecility, fit-ully varied by 

gpz^ stance, each of which left him 

weal -oie; at last, he said, in a smo- 

thered voice, 

"(in! ! TMOU knowest my secret by what ne- 
erojna-i.:y,itis bootless to ask but,thouknowest 
my secret ! what is the price of thy silence '/" 

"Ah! now thou comest to the. point. In a 
Word, then. Edgar Ardenne called upon you last 
week with a request that you would unite him- 
self and Miss Darling in marriage, and you re- 
fused to do BO !" 

"I d>d! I will not officiate in a clandestine 
marriage I wonder that any minister of the 
gospel ever should." 

" Exemplary old man ! would you have the 
young people elope without being married ? for 
that would be the end of your morality." 

" I would have all ministers of the gospel and 
all others do their simple duty, and leave the 
consequences " 

I mig it prove that those very < consequences* 
affect the very point of < duty,' but I will not. I 
will only remark that I wish you to reconsider 
that decision! I wish you to pronounce the 
nuptial benediction that shall unite forever the 
destinies of Edgar Ardenne and Winny Darling! 
and at no later period than to-morrow eve 
Ding!" 

"Ha! now do you not know, Miss Hinton, 
that :?uch a ceremony would be null and void, 
that both Ardenne and Miss Darling are under 
age, and that in Virginia the marriage of minors 
without the consent of their parents and guar- 
dians is illegal, invalid ?" 

Full well I know that, but I know also that 
as England has its Gretna Green, so Virginia has 
its Harper's Ferry, and that this law of Virginia 
does not diminish the annual number of youthful 
marriages. 1 know that its only effect is to take 
from the treasury of the State of Virginia, and 
to throw into the treasury of the State of Mary- 
land several thousand dollars annually, in the 
money paid for marriage licenses by citizens of 
Virginia to the clerks of the county courts of 
Maryland: so much for their imported English 
law! Now what I want you to do, Father Bur- 
leigh, is this Edgar Ardenne and Winny Dar- 
ling will be at Harper's Ferry to-morrow eve- 
ning me$ them there, cross th< Potomac 
with them, unite them in the State of Maryland." 
And the license then ?" 
" No difficulty will be met theie ! The host 
of the hotel at Harper's Ferry keep constantly 
on band a supply' of blank licenses from the 
Court of Hagerttown, which he will sell at a 
small advance,' " laughed Sina. 
The face of the priest could not be een the 



ight he held was flickering out he did not 
in reply to wnat she last said. 

%< And Father, notice listen ! for no*r comet 
the very point of my argument My own parti- 
cipation in this affair must not be, known No ! 
not to oi:e single soul for, Father, the day that 
I lose favor in this neighborhood ; t>>at very day 
your secret is given to the winds /" 

Tue light flashed up in a expiring flare, illu- 
minating the thin, fierce feature*, and piercing 
eyes of the fiendish girl, and then went out in 
darkness. 

CHAPTER X. 

THE FLIGHT OF THE LOVE-ANSEL. 

I leave thee, father ! Eve's bright moon 

Must now ligh' other feet, 
With the gathered grapes and the harp in tune, 

Thy homeward steps to greet. 
Thou in who-e voice to ble^s thy child 

Lay tones of love &o deep 
Whose eye o'er all ray youth hath smiled 

I leave thee ! Let me weep ! 

Mother, I leave thee ! - on thy breast, 

Pouring out joy and woe, 
I have found that holy place of rest 

Still changeless yet I go ! 
Lips that have lulled me with your strain, 

Eves that have watched my ^leep ! 
Will earth give love like jfours again, 

Dear mother! Let me weep ! 

Mrs. Hemans 

Oak Grove lay husked and basking in the noon 
of an August day the silence only dreamily 
disturbed by the drowsy murmur of the breeze 
among the foliage. Dinner was over, and the 
squire, clad in a cool white linen jacket and 
trowsers, was lying at length upon tne long 
bench of the front piazza, taking his siesta. 
The county paper with which he had read him- 
self to sleep, had dropped from hw hand. A 
drowsy little black boy in his shirt sleeves, was 
keeping the flies off his master, with a bunch of 
long peacock feathers. It is a warm, heavy, 
sleepy season, and the little negro nods, and 
bobs, and sways the peacock feathers. Presently 
he will inevitably slap it into the face of his 
master, who will wake up swearing. 

In another part of the house, Madam Wini- 
fred, in her own chamber, knelt at her mid-day 
devotions. 

In still another chamber, sat Winny and Sina. 
They sat by a window that was closely shaded 
with green foliage, the favorite resort of singing 
birds, which the gentleness of Winny had never 
alarmed. And through these green branches 
were caught short views of the levtl lawn, dot- 
ted with huge oak trees, and a glimpse of the 
distant quarters. Winny leaned upon her right 
elbow, and gazed tearfully from this embowered 



SHANNONDALE. 



Window Her o<her hand AAS neia oy -v.,u, 
who pressed and kissed it frequently, or stroked 
her golden ringlets, and spoke to her tenderly 
and soothingly. 

" But Sina dear Sina this is the last, the 
very fast day that I shall stay at homt* ! and it 
is half over. And to think that I am deceiving 
my trusnng father and my dear, dear grandmo 
ther ! that I. whom they love so fondly, so much 
more than I deserve I, whom they call their 
4 darling,' their < blessing,' their love-angel,' 
should deceive and desert them ! Oh, it is very, 
very vi<ked!" 

'< W^lt, my love, if you think so, abandon the 
project and if Ardenne, in his disappointment 
and despair, should blow his brains out " 

Winny turned pale, and shuddered from head 
to foot. 

" Should blow his brains out, as young Fisher 
did ^vhen Mary Key Dorsey jilted him last 
month, I do not know \ am not sure, that the 
sin will be lau! at your door. You would be 
quite th# innocent cause of his suicide." 

Wirnty wa-> scarcely sixteen a mere child 
a country child a home-educated child with- 
out the slightest protective knowledge of the 
world without the slightest suspicion of its 
falsehood- Blame her filial impiety as it de- 
serves as she blames it herself, but do not call 
her weak, or foolish in her credulity of Sina's 
representations. She was not naturally weak or 
foolish, as her brave and patient after-life pro- 
ve<i no, she was only immature, sensitive, con- 
fiding. 

" You do not dread this, 1 know ; catastrophes I 
are always unexpected but " 

" Oh ! say no more ! I shall not recede now ! 
1 have no power to turn back now ! I am whirl- 
ed rapid) y onward by a current I cannot arrest ! \ 
Cannot, because I will not ! Inclination hurries 
me forward only duty, conscience, the memory 
of all the wrong I do those whom I love and 
leave, would stop me but cannot only troubles 
me ! But I will not be traitor to my own con- 
science ; 1 will not say that it exonerates, when 
it bitterly accuses me! I will not say that I 
think I am doing right, when 1 know and feel 
that I am doing wrong! vrong! wrong! oh, 
so very wrong ! I may have sinned before, but 
certainly I never suffered from remorse before." 
" My dear love! mv sweet Winny! my angel! 
do not talk so! Remorse for what? You 
talk as though you were about to commit some 
atrocious wickedness. You are going to be 
married, and marriage is a holy state !" 

" Yes ! marriage is a holy state ! I feel that 
oh, so deeply, so strongly, so profoundly now! 
But I feel, too, that in entering this holy state 
against my dear grandmother, my more than 
mother's Dishes without my father's blessing, 
and H. ''efiancH of his curse, that 1 desecra^ a 
sanctuary that I commit a sacrilege, even as 



aju .:, as though 1 seize.! with impious hands, 
auu quaffed ;viih unaoiy lips. th sacred cup of 
the euchaiist!" 

"Winny! Wiuny ! my iittle iovt* ! do not 
talk so ! You are already wan ied ! By tne 
mutual attractions God has placed in your hearts 
He has already married you. You do but lega- 
lize on earth wnat God has doae in Heaven !'* 

"That is true ! and yet and yet there is a 
disturbance a discord in my soul a bright joy 
struggling with a dark trouble as if 1 had stolen 
as a thief into Heaven, with the sins of earth all 
clinging around me !" 

For the first time, Sina Hinton lost her self- 
command ; in truth, for a week she had had " a 
job" in the several parts she had played with 
Winny, with Ardenne, with the squire and the 
priest, and her patience was about exhausted - 
she jumped up and walked the floor in hasty 
strides, exclaiming 

" In the name of Judas ! then send word to 
Edgar to go about his business, and so drop the 
whole matter!" 

Winny held out her hand. 
" Be patient with me, Sina ! dear Sina ! you 
who have nothing to reproach yourself with 
j you do not understand my feelings even as 1 
i who never experienced physical pain, am puzzled 
I to know why the sick should groan and writiae 
so! Be patient, Sina ! Come back tome! I 
told you I would go I will go But come, 
Sina ! there are some things I wish to leave 
with you to do " 

Miss Hinton came and sat again by her side, 
embraced her, and said 

"Forgive me, Winny but my dear child, 
your morbid sensibility does try my patience, 
sadly and what is the use of it ? You compared 
your course just now to the whirl of a current 
of destiny." 

No-^not of destiny I did not so excuse my- 
self to a current of inclination." 

" It is the same thing. Let me remind you 
now of our boating on the Shenandoah. You 
and Ardenne were in a skiff together we had 
many, many miles of smooth water from Har 
per's Ferry up to Shannondale, there we got in- 
to the rapids, and for a few minutes, during 
which we crossed them, our situation seemed - 
it was only seeming very perilous ! You held 
your very breath for awe ! yet in less than an 
hour, we were in smooth water again, and con- 
tinued our course gleefully. You are now in the 
rapids of your life, and your grief and remorse 
are now as gratuitous and as temporary as your 
awe and terror were then Oh ! nonsense ! my 
love! You will smile at this to-morrow to- 
morrow, when in the saloon of Oak Grove, Mrs. 
Ardenne resting upon her husband's arm, with 
her father by her side, will be receiving the 
congratulatory visits of her friends Nay, you ^ 

will wonder at these fears, when in a few we/' *?' 

iady, in 



36 



SHANNONDALE. 



or months, Mrs. Ardenne shall see her husband, 
assisted by her father's great influence, rise ra- 
pidly to that high political distinction for whic i 
hib splendid talents so eminently fit him. Why, 
Winny! why, Winny I" exclaimed Sina, sud- 
denly changing her tone to one of tight joyous- 
ness think of the great, the immense good 
your hand will confer upon Ardrnne, and cast 
off your fears ! As a general tnmg / disapprove 
of clandestine marriages, especially as they are 
often contracted hastily bet-veen thoughtless 
girls and reckless young men whose very levi- 
ty have made them unacceptable to t>ie parents 
and urge them into a secret union but your 
case and that of Ardenne is so widely different, 
so diametrically opposite ! It is a proud thing 
for you to open to one so eminently endowed as 
Ardenne, the way for a splendid political ca- 
reer! Do you not know, girl, that your lover's 
intellect is magnificent? that he will blaze 
forth upon the world, with the blinding light of 
a newly created sun?" said the artful and elo- 
quent girl, appealing to the loving enthusiasm of 
Winny. 

"Oh, I know! I know it!" said the child, 
clasping her hands fervently together, while her 
cheek burned and her eye glowed; "I know 
that he is a radiant archangel on earth!" 

Sina turned aside to hide the mocking smile 
that taunted secretly the ecstatic admiration of 
the poor love-stricken child- She was content, 
that she had drawn her for a moment from her 
ad reveries. It was but for a moment! Winny's 
thoughts turned with an inevitable tendency to 
the sorrowful, to the TRUE aspect of her posi- 
tion. She rose up and dried her eyes, and went 
about her little preparations, pale and sorrowful 
as though they were for a funeral not a wed- 
ding and all these preparations were for the 
comfort of those she was about to leave behind 
just as the dying set their house in order be- 
fore tbeir departure. 

Here, Sina ! here is a set of rubies my fa- 
ther's gift upon my last birth day they will 
look well in your dark hair, Sina ; take and wear 
them for my sake." 

"But, my love these are very very costly 
a a fortune in themselves," said the cunning 
girl, divided between avarice and fear. 

Are they, I did not know it ; so much the 
better for you, if they are valuable.'* 

But, my love, this munificent regal pre- 
sent your father might not approve." 

"My father my father oh! whatever my 
father dots care for, he does not care for cost, or 
money especially he will not now when he is 
about to lose oh, pitying Saviour ! here, take 
them, Sina, and say no more about them, for my 
heart is very heavy." 

< But, my love ; you may want them your- 
self." 



they are heavy and sharp and flashing and I 
almost dislike them they offend my every 
sense they flash my eyes out. I like softness 
and repose too well to like jewels so be at ease, 
dear Sina, and enjoy the rubies, for you, I know, 
like jewels!" 

Oh, I do ! I do so !" 

" And here, Sina ; here is a piece of crimson 
satin grandmother bought me for a dress it 
will become your dark style well take it." 

" But, my love ; this at least you will want." 

" No," said Winny, in a tone whose sad so- 
lemnity would have touched any heart but Sina's; 
" no if my father forgives me, I shall be too 
happy to need anything if he does not, I shall 
be too lost to think of anything like that!" 

" My love, your fears are entirely groundless, 
and if they were not if the squire should be ob- 
durate for a while why it will be his own fault, 
and I should give myself no concern about it." 

" Ah ! but there is one poor one who will 
be utterly blameless and helpless in the matter, 
and who will suffer more than all ; for she will 
have no support in resentment, as my father will 
no solace in love, as I shall. My poor, un- 
selfish, fond grandmother ! Oh ! it is cruel it 
is wicked, to grieve the love of old age ! Youth, 
is elastic and hopeful, with a long future before 
it and can get over every trouble, except, per- 
haps, remorse; and middle life is mature in 
strength, and occupied with many things but 
age, old age ! it has so little to hope for in this 
world ! so short a time to live in this sunshiny 
world, that it loves as much as a child does ! 
and to fill that little time with bitterness to 
flood those few remaining hours with sorrow ! to 
break an old heart that has survived all the 
stormy troubles of life, to be broken at last by 
its best loved ! and yet 1 am going to risk that! 
perhaps to do that ! Oh, Sina ! they call me a 
good child,' and a dear child' when, if they 
knew it, I am only a selfish deceiver! Oh, Sina! 
there is not in all the prison cells of all the 
world, a heart designing so much wickedness 
as mine ! for there is not one planning to break 
a gray -haired mother's gentle, loving heart 5 
Oh, Sina ! how can you love me ! how can you 
bear to look upon me ! knowing all my illness, as 
you do!" And so, bitterly reproaching herself, 
she burst into a tempest of tears fell upon the 
bosom of Sina, and sobbed with a passionate ve- 
hemence that shook her fragile form as a storm 
shakes the rose-tree. That passion passed also, 
and then, indeed, she grew calm and progressed 
with her little preparations. All, as 1 said, for 
those she left behind none for herself, or her 
journey. " This little pile of clothes is for Aunt 
Nerve and her children ; and this roll of old linen 
is for old Aunt Maul you know she is the 
sick-nurse of the quarters; and, Sina, while I 
think of it let me beg you, do not neglect the 



"No, I do not like jewels about my person poo old peop!? , whose in6rmities confine them 



S H A N N O N D A L E. 



Wt.-uy did not reply, it took all her strength 
to suppress her tears 

k< Ou!" said tfi squire, vho was not celebra- 
ted for penetration, < ou ! the thoughts of to mor- 
row's pleasure his taken the child's appetite 
! away ! You know that she has been invited to 
i a breakfast and shooting party to be Ue4d at the 
seat of Colonel Daugeitield, and she is to set out 
to-morrow morning at day-break." 

" At day-break ! It is too early tor her, poor 
| thing; to ride without her breaktast, too; and 
j how is she going, and who is going with her ?" 
" She will ride Sea Foam and old Kill will at- 
tend her." 

" And no female companion ?" 
" Miss Sina has not been invited." 
"No," said Sina, "Colonel Ddngerfield ia 
j more of an aristocrat than a gentleman ne has 
overlooked a salaried companion. But no mat- 
! ter," added she, mentally, though rnis omis- 
sion suits me very well now, I shall neverthe- 
less remember it against you and repay it with 
interest^ Colonel Lee Daugerfieid I do not suffer 
the world to remain long in my debt !" 

The party arose from the table It was the 
custom of the regular household to retire early, 
and soon after they were about to separate for 
the night. 

" Good-night, Winny, love !" said the squire, 
folding his child to his bosom "Good-night, 
darling. 1 shan't be up early enough to see you 
off, but take care of yourself, my clear baby, and 
come home early in the evening, do you hear?" 
Winny was fearfully pale. Happily in the dim 
taper's light he did not see it. 

Will you not bless me, my father ?" she 
asked, in a tremulous voice. 

" To be sure I will, my love ! my angel- 
child I" said the father, with a deep-toned ten- 
derness and swimming eyes for something in 
her manner or, was it a vague presentiment of 
his own, touched and melted his parent-heart ! 
"To be sure I will, my love! my angel-child! 
God bless thee, Winny ! God in the might of His 
power and the richness of His love, bless thee I 
bless thee! my love child, even as thou shalt 
bless thy father .'" 

A wild, half- smothered scream sprang from 
Winny's surcharged heart her overwrought 
nerves failed, and she fell half fainting upon her 
father's arm ^)1 was dismay. All hurried to 
the drooping girl. 

<Give her to me ! give her to rne!" suddenly, 
spasmodically exclaimed Sma riinton, catching 
the form of Winny with an air of authority, and 
bearing her off to her room. 

What is the meaning of all that ?" exclaim- 
ed the terrified and bewildered squire. 

" Sina knows, Sina knows ; it is hysterical 
only ; gentlemen do not. know anything. Sina 
knows there is no occasion for the least alarm; 
I am going to her now," said the old lady, in 



3S 



jf 

oHer to reassure her son, and then she slowly 
tottered out of the room and up the stairs. In a 
very few minutes she came down again, smiling 
with pleasure and benevolence, and saying, 

" There, dear, I knew that it was all nothing ; 
Miss Hinton, to save me fatigue, met me at the 
head of the stairs, and 'old me that it was now 
the merest trifle yon can conceive of a needle 
the poor, dear, careless hahy had stu^k in the 
bosom of her dr*8g, and when you pressed her, 
the point ran into her shoulder, and the sudden 
pang and fright made the poor, nervous child 
scr-am, and almost faint. Miss Hinton says 
that she is now smiling at the affair, and that 
she will be in my room as usual to-night." 

"Humph! I wish Wi,->ny wouldn't stick 
needles in her bosorn and daggers in mine at the 
same time ! Tell her so !" grumbled and laugh- 
ed the pqtiire, as he rolled his portly figure off 
to his room. 

Madam Winifred went to her own chamber, 
where her old servant already waited to assist 
her at her night toiler. Soon Winny came in, 
as was her invariable custom. The room was 
scarcely lighted by a very dim night taper, and 
the old lady could not see how dreadfully pale 
and haggard her child was. 

" Dear grandmother, send Nerve away, and 
let me wait on you to-night will you not?" 

"You, my dear baby ! No, you are not strong 
enough after your fright." 

ft Dear grandmother, I am. Do gratify me in 
this, will you not ?" 

Though she could not see her face, there was 
something so deep, so mournful in the low 
tones of her voice, that Madam Winifred at once 
dismissed her attendant, and suffered the child 
to have her way. 

The old lady sat in a low-backed, easy chair, 
while Winny removed her cap, and laying it 
carefully away, stood behind her, and began to 
comb out her long, soft, waving, half-curling 
silver hair, with its few stray tresses of still 
beautiful auburn. Even Winny remembered 
when that fine fall of hair was of a richer golden 
hue than her own bright locks Yet Winny still 
admired the rolling torrent of silver hair, and 
said that it was still beautiful still radiant arid 
brightening for Heawn ! But now, to-night, it 
seemed to her only white, pale, and fading for the 
grave! She rolled it up with reverent hands, 
and concealed it all under the clean white linen 
cap, around which she bound a black silk fillet. 
Then she tenderly unpinned and removed each 
article of the old lady's dress, carefully laying it 
away. At last, when her grandmother was in 
bed, Winny knelt down by the bedside, and took 
her hand to kins A superstitious awe a feel- 
ing of dire fatality overpowered her, and she 
did not dare to a k her bussing The old lady 
put out her other thin arH wasted hand, and, 
stroking her baby's" fair, soft hair, she said 



S H A NN O N D A L E. 



Winny, my precious child, you are not 
cheerful. What ails you, my own darling? 
What should trouble your young life what 
does? Tell me, Winny I Darling of my old 
age, tell me ?" 

Ala* ! alas ! grandmother," exclaimed Win- 
ny, dropping her head upon the coverlet and 
weeping bitterly. 

" Oh, it is something ! it is not, as I had al- 
most hoped, a mere notion of mine ! It is some- 
thing Winny! my dear, dear child, nothing 
troubles you that will not trouble me more! 
Lay your little griefs upon my bosom, my bright- 
haired darling, or if they are indeed serious 
sorrows, repose them here, Winny or even- 
were that possible if you have committed a 
fault relieve yourself lay it here, Winny, 
without distrust without fear for you will 
find nothing but mercy and love here, my 
heart's own dear child !" 

But Winny sobbed as if her heart would 
break. 

Will you not tell me, my own chil d?" 

"Not to-night! oh, not to-night! to-mor- 
row, perhaps, if if 1 if I re " but Winny's 
voice was lost in choking sobs. 

Well, then, not to-night, my baby I will 
not distress you now." And the old lady stop- 
ped talking, and with a delicate and tender sym- 
pathy, only stroked her golden hair, or silently 
pressed her little hands, and looked lovingly up- 
on her while she sobbed herself into a sort of 
quiet, kneeling by the bedside with her head 
upon the coverlet. 

The old lady partly guessed the cause of her 
sorrow but not the whole cause. Sne suspected 
her love for Edgar Ardenne, but dreamed of no* 
thing beyond. 

At last Winny, not wishing to keep her grand- 
mother longer from her rest, and resolving to 
come in and take a farewell look at her while 
sleeping, arose, and kissing the old lady's wrin- 
kled brow, murmured 

Good- night, grandmother I am better now 
good-night, sweet grandmother !'' and was 
stealing away from the bedside when the feeble 
tones of the old lady recalled her. 

"Come back, my child! my angel-child! I 
<-annot somehow part with you so, to-night! 
Come back !" 

Winny returned, and kneeled again at the bed- 
side, looking like some beautiful, fragile peni- 
tent , with her fair locks flowing down over her 
white dress her wan face and blue eyes turned 
wistfully, pleadingly up to the face of her aged 
narent. 

The aged woman stretched forth her withered 
irms, and laid her venerable hands in benedic- 
tion upon that young, fair head Why did the 
fragile form shudder through every limb at the 
touch, as though it feared a malediction ? No 
word could come from those aged and saintly 



SHANNONDALE.. 



lips that could be tortured into anathema. No! 
As the old woman laid her reverend palms upon 
tne young a<,d sin- bowed head, she looked upon 
it with !>uch a world such a Heaven of forgive- 
ness, of mnn-y, of love, and of blessing ! and 
she murmured, silemnl} 

" M y rat- Father of All Mercy Our Heaven- 
ly Fatne. bless thee, my child ! May He for- 
give all tay sins ! strengthen all thy weaknesses 
sanctify ail tny sorrows, and turn all thy evils 
into good ! May the Father of Love, in the 
riehnes<8 and 'ullness ot His love, bless thee for- 
ever and evu! oh, our child! And even as a 
Divine B-ing can bless infinitely more than a 
human being can so may the All mighty and 
All merciful bless thee infinitely more than thou 
hast blessed and shalt bless us oh, our angel- 
child!" 

How beautiful ! how radiant ! how divine ! 
looked that aged face, with the soul of love and 
mercy glowing through it. 

" Oh, lovely ! oh, benign ! oh, heavenly 
lips, my mother! oh, undefiled! celestial lips! 
that spoke that priceless blessing! that 
blessing without alloy, that my soul thirsted for, 
even unto death ! Oh ! seraph-spirit ! love-spi- 
rit! before you take flight for your native Heaven, 
you will know how inestimable ! how priceless 
that bluing is to me !" exclaimed Winny, be- 
side herself with over-wrought excitement, as 
she passionately embraced her aged parent, co- 
vering her hands with hot tears and kisses. 

'Calm thee, my child calm thee, Winny 
there there you are hysterical go seek your 
pillow, my love go, Winny God love thee! 
there go." 

And folding the child down tenderly to her 
bosom kissing her closely on the lips, she dis- 
missed her to her chamber. 

Winny reached her room where Sina, moody 
and out of patience, awaited her coming. Sina 
was so fatigued with acting, and her projects 
were so nearly accomplished, as far as Winny 
was concerned, that she felt disposed to relax 
her efforts, and refresh herself with a little of 
her natural ill-temper so she said to Winny as 
she entered 

" Really, I do think that Edgar Ardenne 
shou'd feel particularly flattered by the cheer- 
fulness with which you prepare to give him your 
hand." 

Winny did not reply to, or even hear this 
sharp speech. She undressed and went to bed j 
at once. She could not sleep ! In an hour she 
left her bed aiid crept softly to the door of her 
father's chamber but it was locked on the in- 
side ; and with a murmured prayer and a deep 
sigh, she left it. Then she softly, very softly, 
re-entered her grandmother's room. The dim, { 
night-taper was still burning on the hearth and 



39 

she approached the sleeper, she etart* d with a 
qu ck heart-spasm at wnat at first set-me .' to her 
to be a sudden and tearful change in -h>- coun- 
tenance of her aged parent. Never had that 
face appeared so old so very aged so pallid, 
suuken, and pinched so corpse-hue. Winny 
suppreRsed a deep groan as sbe k&elr. by that 
bedside. Clasping her hands together und-r her 
bowed head, down waich, on -either side, stream- 
ed the long, pale hair and straining her an- 
guished eyes upon the sleeper's face, aa though 
she would pierce the mask of slumber and read 
the heart behind there, in bitterness ot spirit, 
in silent tears and smothered groan*, and fruit- 
less attempts at prayer, she passed the night. 
Two or three times the old lady had si^ :ou pro- 
foundly, and moved j but Winny would quickly 
drop to the ground, to avoid being seen until 
the stillness assured her that her grandmother 
slumbered again* 

At day-break Sina Hinton softly entered the 
room, and coining to the side of Winny. said, 

e - How long have you been up ?" 

" All night did not you know it?" 

" No indeed, I saw you in bed put out the 
candle and as soon as I touched my pillow I 
was last asleep, 1 have but just awakeaed, and 
misaing you, supposed that you had arisen and 
come in here, according to custom." 

" You slept ! Ah, you have nothing on your 
conscience to keep sleep away !" 

No, thank Heaven," said Sina. 

Winny then arose, and fixing one long, last 
agonized look upon her aged parent, she put her 
arms in that of Sina, and hurried away. It wag 
now but four o'clock. Sina hastened her toilet. 
Miss Hmton had a reason for hurrying Wumy off 
an hour earlier than the one fixed. She had 
heard, as Winny had not, the squire give orders 
the evening previous, for coffee to be ready for 
Miss Darling at five o'clock, that morning and 
she had heard Madam Winifred give directions 
to her maid to wake her up at half-past four, so 
that she might see her child comfortably off. 
Now Sina knew that Winny chanced to be ig- 
aorant of all this, and being thoroughly sick and 
tired of Winny and her weakness, she determin- 
ed to get her off before any of the family should be 
tup. She did not risk giving offence, or exciting 
suspicion by this course, because she herself had 
received no direction to the contrary. As for 
old fJncle Kill, he was ignorant of every thing 
relating to the subject, beyond the orders he 
had received from Miss Hinton to have the 
horses ready at the door by four o'clock in the 
morning. 

So punctual was Miss Hinton, that as the clock 
struck the appointed hour, she led out Winny, 
arrayed in her graceful blue riding habit, with a 
little straw hat with blue ribbons shading her 



it might have been the unnatural reflection of j snowy forehead and long golden ringlets. They 
the light coming from below but certainly as formed a beautiful picture the fay-like maiden, 



40 

with her nzure-hued and flowing robe, and pale 
fold floating hair upon the bhining wtute pony 
with his long, soft silvery mane and tail. 

She had just turned her horse's head to go, 
when a blight noise at an upper window drew 
her attention, and looking up she saw her grand- 
mother's head at the window saw her indis- 
tinctlyin the white night-cap with the black 
bandage against the dark back ground of the open 
window leaning on the sill with one withered 
hand hold up above her eyes trying to catch a 
last glimpse of her departing darling or perhaps 
to recall her. As Wmny looked up, a strong, 
powerful, most potent, almost irresistible attrac- 
tion drew her would have forced her back to 
her home back to her grandmother's bosom, for 
she instinctively threw up both her arms to the 
window to meet the arms instinctly held down 
to her ! but Sina Hinton perceiving he* vacilla- 
tion quietly put her hand to the bridle bit. It 
was a little thing, a scarcely perceptible motion, 
hut it turned the poney's head it turned the 
Tibrating scale of destiny Winny dropped her 
arms and went on. 

Very lovely she looked with her long, few 
hair, and azure robe her pearl white pony's 
silvery mane and tail all flowing, floating, 
waving: in the early morning breeze a soft, 
bright, cloud-like, foam-like, evanescent image 
of exceeding beauty, as she vanished through tie 
great front, gate. 

Whether it was because a young heart cannot 
long dwell unon sorrowful images left behind, 
or from the natural reaction of so much depres- 
sion, or the revivifying influence of early morn- 
ing and awakening Nature, or the speedy cer- 
tainty of meeting her lover, or the effect of all 
these causes together as was most likely 
Winny's spirits rose from the moment of her 
leaving the gate. She turned into a narrow 
bridle-path leading Through an angle of the 
dense forest to the banks of the river. She 
reached the borders of th* beautiful Shenandoah, 
the river of " Rays and Shadows," just as the 
Eastern ky was flushing up rosy red above the 
intense blue of the Ridge. The old ferryman 
was waiting to take them over. Their road 
upon the o'her side lay for many miles upon the 
banks of the Shenandoah. And a wild nnd most 
beautiful path it was ; with the Blue Ridge tow- 
ering on the right and the Sdenandoah flowing 
on the left, with a distance of only a few yards 
between them. Down the sides of the moun- 
tain, even to the river's flood, grew the dark, 
dense format, shading the narrow road, and the 
branches of whose trees, when lofty, met over- 
head ; when lower, interlaced so thickly as to be 
almost impa-pahle. Though the lofty plumes 
of trees that nodded over the brow of the 
river on the i e ft, rniaht be seen across the flood 
the rolling gr e <>n hills, the shaded del's, the 
woods, and he !, and streams, ana homesteads 



SH ANNOND ALE. 

of tfte beautiful valley" the garden spot of the 
world 7 ' where but to stand and receive it, it 
seems as though the heart must break with the 
pouring in, from all points, of the beauty and 
blessing the glory and the gladness of nature ! 
the exultant life arid joy of the young morn ! 

And now the sun is rising, and at the first 
God-like glance striking long lines ot fluid silver 
athwart the mountain all the green hills of the 
valley smiled out broad and bright to greet him, 
in reflected light responsive love ! while the 
trees, waving in the wind, tossed their mighty 
branches, throwing off their tribute of liquid 
diamonds, sparkling dew-drops! And now the 
god has risen ! and as the glorious canopy of 
golden clouds rolls up above his head, he deluges 
the whole earth and sky with a flood of insuffer- 
able light! 

The sounds of morning of morning in the 
country of morning in the wilderness of Na- 
ture awakening ! First, those undescribed and 
undescribable notes of awakening life, " unwrit- 
ten music," coming we know not whence what 
are they ? the motion of trees, as they rouse 
themselves from sleep ? the merrv wakening of 
plants ? the laugh of the rills gushing into new 
life ? the songs of streams in unison? Whence 
comes it, this concert of morning music, deep- 
toned, yet clear, and echoing and resounding far 
and wide, and filling all the air with melody ? 
this morning hymn of (falsely so-called) inani- 
mate nature? I think that Chanticleer is in 
the secret, by the joyous, jubilant, clear ic- 
sound of his clarion notes through the moun- 
tains, woods and valleys, and the exultant re- 
sponse of his comrades through all the forests, 
fields and glens ; and I think the birds are in 
the confidence of the musicians, by the outburst 
of obstreperous and delirious joy with which 
they hail the morn! and I think the flowers are 
of the same party, by the way they open their 
eyes and smile, offering, with the grand diapa- 
son of harmonious Nature, the silent music of 
their perfume ! 

But we, the Lords and Ladies of Creation, we 
have so much more knowledge than wisdom, we 
are too learned to know anything about it too 
high (heaven help the altitude) in the scale of 
creation to care anything about it until we are 
bruised and beaten down, or grow dizzy and fall 
down, and then we are willing to learn of nature, 
and to know what Father Sun and Mother Earth 
inssMd to heal and soothe and raise to teach 
nd bless us with ! And those that learn the 
lessan "ponder these things" in tneir hearts 
lest revealing them but ten to one my young 
readers have bkipped, as usual, all this descrip- 
tion, and are running their eyes down the column 
until they find tbe natrc of 

Winny ! Well, here she is, idly holding her 
[VHiy's reins who is pacing through the plea- 
sant umbrageous oath receiving the revivify- 



SHANNONDALE. 



41 



ing influence of nature into her being yet un 
thoughtful of, ungrateful for its ministration. Her 
heart and brain filled to a painful tension with 
the fast approaching the near future the tre- 
mendous crisis in destiny that comes but once in 
a lifetime. Does any does the lightest, the most 
frivolous, most unoccupied butterfly of fashion, 
giving her trifling hand in a marriage of mere 
convenience, go meet that era in her life with 
levity? Winny did not certainly. I said her 
spirits rose, and so they did, but not in levity 
rather in exaltation tempered by compunction. 
And so she rode on through the pleasant forest 
path under the shadow of the Blue Ridge. Her 
destination, Mount Eyrie, the seat of Colonel 
Dang^rfield, was about ten miles distant Jrom 
Oak Grove on the road to Harper's Ferry. It 
was situated on a very elevated site, a cleft in 
the Blue Ridge, five hundred feet above the river, 
and with the divided precipices on each side 
rising still higher several hundred feet. This 
handsome house had been erected as a hunting 
lodge upon account of the fine deer and other 
ame there. Now it was used by Colonel Dan- 
gerfield only as a summer and early autumn resi- 
dence. Here during all the summer months he 
Was accustomed to entertain company, ladies as 
well as gentlemen. Here rather early, that is, 
near the first of September, the deer hunting 
commenced. And this was the first sporting 
party of the season. A breakfast was given, to 
which all the neighboring gentry were invited, 
and to this Winny had been bidden. Miss Dar- 
ling was expected to meet her Aunt Summer field 
and family there, and to remain under her cha- 
peronage during the visit. But Wiony looked 
for another there, as the reader knows. Their 
road lay still for miles on the forest and moun- 
tain-shaded river bank, until they came to The 
Cleft. Here a steep, winding, perilous path 
tnrned off from the river, and led up the side of 
the mountain to the house. As Winny, closely 
followed by old Kill, rode up to this turning, and 
while the old man was gazing, in the last ex- 
tremity of horror, up to the dizzy height, he 
thought himself shortly doomed to attempt a 
horseman emerged from the bushes met the 
rushing poney of Winny with a shock, and 
caught the maiden in his arms. It was Edgar 
Ardenne. 

"My own love ! my blessed Winny ! my 
seraph, are you well?" 

Very, very well, dear Edgar." 

"Heaven-bless you for coming. Come, dear, 
we must on ! Twenty miles by the course of 
the river down which we must ride, still lies 
between us and Harper's Ferry. Come, love !" 
and Ardenne riding on and keeping hold of her 
bridle, re-entered the shaded river path, and 
pursued its course. 

Old Kill turned slowly very slowly around, 
and gazed after them, with his white eyes gra- 
4* 



dually enlarging, dilating, and starting out of 
tiis head, like one in the act of being bereft of 
his senses. At last the truth broke on him with 
terrible effect. 

Hi ! what de debil dat mean Oh ! sure 
'nough de Lord! its ifs irs oh! m\ Lor 
Gor A'mighty its a lopement! Hullo! Miss 
Winny! Marse EHgar! that's pretty behave, i;ent! 
Stop! wo hie! wo-o-o -oh ! Mis* Winny! 
Marse Edgar ! Oh ! for de Lor' Gor A'm'ghty'i 
sake, stop! Hullo! murder!- ' : ! 

thieves ! get along, Chally ! (Charles his ol<f 
white hone.) Hoo-weep whip! get along, 
Chally! Murder! I say fire ! thieves! Git 
along, Chally I Oh, my Gor A'mighty they 
done gone clean out o' sight, a flyiu'! an' this 
cussed infunnelly ole Chally won't git along !" 
exclaimed the poor old body-guard, urging with 
whip and spur, and frantic jerks at the bit, his 
horse to i's utmost speed and finally dropping 
into a despairing attitude as he muttered 

Well! fore de Lor'! ef ever 1 s*e de like! dis 
nigger better go sell hisself to Georgy at oncet, 
for ever he go bick to Oik Grove wid dis news. 
And dat am a sure sign he has to do it ! Come, 
Chally ! you an' me got to turn right roun' an* 
go back, an' face ole master now! and sure as 
ever he storms out, an* cusses me, I'll storm out, 
an' cuss you, for ef it hadn't a bin for you, you 
forsook ole sinner you ! I should a cotch up to 
um!" and turning, old Kill alowly road back to 
Oak Grove, and meeting the squire in the hall, 
fired the mine, whose explosion was fraught 
with such disastrous consequences to all con- 
cerned. 

CHAPTER XI 

THE HOUSEHOLD WRECK. 

Senseless and deformed, 
Convulsive anger storms at large, or pair 
And silent settles into fell revenge 

Thompson. 


Oh, Miss Harry, chile, don't ask me, oon't ! 
Sam* done tuk the whole 'trol o' this house in 
his own han'. I never seen such a 'stressed 
fam'ly iff all my life ! Poor Miss Winny ! poor 
dear baby ! done made a darned etarnal fool o 1 
herself, and runned away with a poor white 
man who ain't no sort o' 'count in this worl* 
don't so much as own a single patch o' land on 
the yethf! and ain't got a blessed nigger to h^nd 
the chile a drink o' water ! poor chile ! poor, 
dear, foolish baby ! see what she's fotch herself 
to ! To go an' heave herself away on a poor 
white man ! Oh, my blessed Hebeuly Mari-er ! 
that eber I should lib to see the day as Winny 

* Satan. 
t Jb-arth. 



42 



5HANNONDALE. 



D .riin' 'ould go and fetch a 'sgrace on top o ; we. 
inn,* by takui' up long o' a poor white hernn' 
as ai'i'r got so rau-n as a single nigger to >valk 
arter her an' pick up her pocket hank'cherl 
Poor, dear Umb ! poor, dear baby ! the darned, 
etarnal little fool I she ought to be turned up and 
witched 'fore ever she thinked o' gittin' a hus- 
bau', more less 'gracin' we-dem by a-heavin' o' 
herself away on a poor white fish whose great- 
great-great-grand daddy was overseer to hern! 
Ob, my blessed 'Deemer I that ever I should lib 
to see such a 'grace fotch on we-dem, de werry 
fust fam'ly in Virginny ! an' by that chile, too, 
as 1 have nursed at my own breas' an' fotch up 
in de fear of de debii, teached her duty every 
night duly as the night come afore I put her to 
bed ; yes, an* loved her much as if 1 had fotchet 
her in the worl' myself! Yes, an' I love he 
still, poor little tender, lovin' lamb ! the cussec 
inftrnully little huzzy ! an' ef it warn't fo 
a-leavin' of ole Madam, an' a-'gracin' ourselves 
till more by runnin' away, me an' ole Kil 
'ouM follow arter her and stay 'long o' her, to 
take care o' her, 'cause, you see, Miss Harry 
nater's nater, an' arter all, she's our chile, an 
our nusslm', ef she has hev herself away on a 
feller whose great-great-great-grand-daddy was 
overseer to hern !" 

Such, between tears, sobs, pious ejaculations 
difficult to distinguish from oaths, praises, re 
preaches aad conscience-crippled cu ses, was 
the oration delivered by old Nerve in r<-ply to 
Mias Harriette Joy's inquiries upon the morning 
of Wmny's elopement. Harry having heard 
that the whole neighborhood had (metaphori- 
cally) flown to arms at the report of some catas- 
trophe at Oak Grove, had jumped on her horse 
and ridden over io Oak Grove to know the truth. 
She was now sitting still in her saddle at the 
great front gate where Nerve had chanced to 
meet her. 

Nervo having finished her speech, or bein& 
overcome by her feelings, dropped down upon the 
grassy bank and sobbed aloud. 

"Oh come, don't cry so! be comforted, 
auntv ! take neart ! the alliance of Edgar Ar 
denne is an honor to any family! He is one 
of Na'ure's princes!" 
H*'s what ? > 

" H- is MnguUrly handsome in person, noblt- 
in manner, h-g^ly accomplished, eminently eu 
do wed with talent " 
O', df> debil!" 

Bncked by the influence of his father-in law, 
he may m.e to the proudest distinction !" 



' HP rtMv. t ,.r H.ight you know to the contrary, 
one diy h President of the United States!" 

' H-irry. 
"O- presMen' of de new knighted debe'.s! 

* CT.v //. 



Sposea ef ;e was pres'den' of de new-Righted 
States' that aia'c a goin' to take the 'grace off 
a top o' we-dem ! that ain't a-goin' to 'vent Aw 
great-great-great grand-daddy from bein' over- 
seer to hern " I don't see no sort o' help for it 
on this yeth ! Lord-a-massy, upon top of us !" 

This was said in a tone of deep despair, with 
something between a convulsive sob and a pro- 
found sigh. 

But the squire ! tell me about the squire 
what did he say?" 

" Don't ask me, Miss Harry ! please don't I 
wants to settle my min', and to keep it away 
from dwellin' on Sam's doin's ef I poss'l'y 
can ! cause you see, Miss Harry, it ain't no sort 
o' 'cessity for me to lose noy 'mortal soul, 'long 
o' ole marser an' his deblish doin's ! for Sam's in 
him big as a house !" 

" But, oh ! Nerve, do tell me ; for I am really 
concerned to know. Is there any likelihood ol 
the squire forgiving them ?" 

He 'give them ! Lord-a-massy upon top o' 
you, Miss Harry ! not to know old mars :er bet 
ter 'an that ! Long ago he done taken Sam to 
live long o' him night an* day ! he eats an* 
sleeps long o' him. He 'give them yes! he'll 
give em an ague ef he catches of em !" 
Was he so highly incensed then?" 
"Lord, child ! no he wan't in sensed at all! 
he goed ravin', 'stracted mid I H^ raved arid tored 
and bellowed worse 'an a run-mad hull ! as ef he 
was a-goin' to tear the floor up, an' split the ruff 
off the top o' the house! He cussed ar.' swored 
an' blasphemed 'till oh! my Hebeoly Jesus! I 
spected ebery minute for a yethquake to open an* 
swallow up the whole plantation; an' I 'clareto 
my Hebenly 'Deemer, my blood didn't turn cold 
as ice, an' my hair straightened right up; I feel 
a cole chill like a cole night cap slip all over 
my head ! ' True as I tell you. Then he be- 
gan to cuss Miss Winny, and put bad wishes on 
her; an' oh ! Mother of Jesus ! you neber he?T 
such wishes as that deblish ole sinner heaped oa 
top o' his own dear chile ! I couldeu' stand that 
no how you could fix it! cause, you see, nater's 
nater an' Saui ain't got so far 'head o' me yet 
as to make me forget the baby, as 1 nussed at 
my own breas', when her dear mother went 
aome 1 thank my Hebenly Marster! an' so I 



an' ravin', 
sake ' says 



runned in, to where he was marin 
an' 'oh, master,' I says, 'for Jesus 1 

don't, don't she's your own heart's cbile 
don'tbut 'fore I could get out anos.tier word, the 
old forsok sinner seized up the heavy bra-s hand- 
ron and hev it at my head ! an' f' I hadn't a- 
dodged and fell down, this preciou minute I done 
>e stretch out stiff on the coolm' bodrd for dead!" 

' Mercy on us!" 

' True as I tell you !" 

' But hr grandmother! the old lady! I feel 
more concerned fcr. her, in her delicate health 

v did these horrors affect her ?" 



SHANNONDAi^E 



43 



Oh ! Miss Harry, it would o' melted a otone 
to seen ole rrusi'ess; she never opened her mouth 
an' aid one vord agin the chile! 'fore my bles- 
sed lovin' Lord, she didn't! When ole marster 
corned into the room a rearin' an 5 roarin' an' 
teann' an' splitin', an' told her about it- -she 

ropp d right cown in her chair, all white an' 
tremolm' an' speechless and then when he 
we: i on. a cussin' of Miss Winny poor baby 
she rarch hoid o' the arms o' the chair an' helped 
herself up, tremblin' an' tremblin', an' she 
str*'trhed out her arms an' tried to speak to 
mafce aim stop of it ; but she choked an' couldn't 
get out a word ; an' he wouldn't stop; and she 
turned and looked at me even at me, her 
poor ole slave so 'ploring like ! and fell back 
agin into ner seat, tremblin* an' tremblin' like 
leaves. Then she looked at me agin, without 
speakin', so helpless as much as to say, Help 
me up stairs ;' and so 1 went an' guv her my 
arm, an' hulf led her, an' half toted her up stairs 
sue a a time I had ! two or three times she fell 
on me with all her weight, though she ain't 
hea<ry, nuther>" 

-' But, in the name of Heaven, where was the 
squire ? Why did not her son assist her ?" 

*< Nebber see her ! nebber see her no more 
un' nothin' at all ! He blind-furious, I tell you ! 
as ever you see a mad dog! -arter he done tell 
her, he went roarin', an' tearm', an' burstin', an' 
bre*kin', an' splittin' all through the house, 
worse 'an cannon balls an' bumshells ! Well, I 
laid ole mist'ess on the bfd, an' she has nebber 
moved sence, an' nebber spoke sence!" 

4 M-^cy of Heaven! this is paralysis!" ex- 
claimed Harriette, in alarm Why didn't you 
tell me of her illness the first thing ? Who is 
with her ? Has a doctor been sent for? Wbere 
is Squire Darling?" And she jumped from her 
horse and hurried towards the house, followed 
by old Nerve, who was terrified half to death by 
a fact that Harry's words had only just made 
known to her 

" You you don't think it is that there ? do 
you, Miss Harry ?" 

It is paralysis, I am sure of it ! Where is 
Squire Darling ?" 

< GoH bless you, honey, he don't know nothir<' 
'tall about it I ain't I bin t e llin ? von ** be has- 
ted right out o' the house, blind furious as a 
mad dog, with two swords (what was the poor, 
for*ok "le soul goin' to do 'long o' two weepons?) 
an' sweared how he'd have the heart's blood 
o' the cowardly traitor, or be slewn himself!" 

" Is it possible that he has left the house, and 
his mother dyjjag, perhaps !' 

They nad now reached the house, which was 
all in confusion. 

"Who is with her?" again asked Harriette, 
hurr :p r he stairs 

" M .* Sir,a Hinton -itc' 'fore my Hebenly 
'Deemer 1 don't 'prove o' that young gall!" 



Why, what has she done?" 

Don't know ain't anle to fix a singly thing 
on top o' tier, but blessed be my Heb*-niy Jesue, 
the first time as ever 1 sot my eye on her, I ielt 
as somethin' evil had come to the house !" 

This conversation brought them to the doorot 
ttie aged woman's chamb-T. Harriett entered 
softly- the room was silent as death, and so 
mrk that it was some seconds before -iarriette 
could discern the prostrate form ot the old lady, 
extended nearly lifeless on the bed Siua Hin- 
ion sat near the head of the bed. but did not 
*eem to be doing any other duty than watching. 
Harriette drew near and after gazing wit'- pro- 
found sorrow, reverence and awe upon this for- 
saken sick bed, she turned, and whispering softly 
to Sina, inquired if a physician had beer sum- 
moned, and if Squire Darling had been sent tor ? 
Wrjat was her surprise and indignation to l*arn, 
that neither had been done. Miss Hinton had 
apprehended no danger, she said, and so had ta- 
Ken no precaution. And now Harriette discern- 
ed at once tUe cause of poor old Nerve'* previous 
freedom from alarm upon the subject And tor 
tne first time in her life, she sent a suspicious, 
.searching, angry glance, deep into the eyes of 
Sina ; but those orbs opposed their large, sha- 
dowy tenderness, and the fire of Harriette's 
glance was quenched in the liquid softness of 
Sina's eyes. Harriette reproached herself for 
unjust, and even most unreasonable suspicion 
for, " what motive," she asked herself, " could 
S)na have, for purposely omitting to use any 
means for the recovery of the old lady ?" Then 
she hurried out, and sent messengers, post-haste, 
for a physician, for Squire Darling, and for her 
uncle, the priest, and then at more leisure, dis- 
patched a servant to Shannondale, to inform Mrs. 
Summer field of the dangerous illness of her mo- 
ther. 

Evening drew on. The messenger sent for 
the squire had returned and declared himself 
unable to find his master in any of his u*ual 
Hunts. iVTrs. SuTimerfieH. ar-r-m *v by 
Miss Summerfield, and escorted by Colonel Dan- 
gerfield had arrived, and they were waiting in 
another room the permission of the young priest 
who had been called from St. Joseph's m the ab- 
sence of Father Burleigh to enter the chamber. 
The family physician, who had quickly obeyed 
the hasty summons, had been with her exerting 
all the powers of his art for her restoration and 
all in vain or with but partial success. Late in 
the evening she recovered her speech in an im- 
perfect degree. My son I must see my 
son!" were the first broken, nearly unintelligi- 
ble words she spoke The doctor stepped out to 
Colonel Daugerfield and told him of this urging 
>it the same time the great necessity of Squire 
Darling's speedy arrival if he would see his 
mother living. 



44 



SHANNONDALE. 



" The messenger could not finrt him ae must 
have pursued his fugitive "augfcter and her lover 
to Harp-r's Ferry. I will go myself in search 
of him," said Colonel Dangerfield, and ringing, 
he ordered the fleetest and strongest horse in the 
stables to be saddled and brought around. And 
in ten minutes Colonel Dangerfield was urging 
hi* fiery steed to its utmost speed over the hills 
and precipices that lay between Oak Grove and 
Ha per's Ferry. 

Hours passed on, during which the old lady's 
life seemed ebbing fast away. Again she strove 
to speak, and when the physician bent down close 
to hear her words she articulated with gr*>at diffi- 
culty _ Margaret I mogene my children T J 
and Mrs. and Miss Summerfield were permitted 
to approach her bedside. She looked on them 
with so much love struggling through the death- 
ly agony of her face ! She tried again to speak ; 
Mi- Sutnmcrfield, her eyes streaming with 
tears, bent over to catch the words. It was an 
abortive effort. The aged countenance was con- 
vulsed a moment and then settled they thought 
in death but it was not so again, and oh! with 
what a power I with what a conquering omni- 
potence of mighty love ! the soul struggled for a 
moment to overcome, to pierce througtx the phy- 
sical torpor, the mortal torpor to commune 
with its mortal loved ! It conquers ! it con- 
queis! light again melts through the glazed 
eye.>! the pinched and sunken lips again 
move! Mrs. Summerfield bends to catch 
the words Winny Winny forgive love 
bless" 

She was sinking again. 

At a sign from the priest all knelt to offer up 

the solemn prayers of the church. 

**** 

Ooe circumstance must be noted even at this 
acred bedside. As they arose from their knees, 
the eyes of the young priest chanced to fall on 
those of Imogene, his band to touch hers, and 
every vestige of color vanished from her high 
rojal brow, leaving it pallid as marble, while a 
visible shudder shook her imperial form, till it 
rocked as a storm loosened pillar. The physi- 
cian drew her arm witnin his own and led her 
from the room. 



CHAPTER XII. 



THE GRETNA GREEN OF THE OLD DOMINION. 

They stood, that gentle pair, 
With the blue heaven of evening above, 
And forest odors dying on the air, 
And light leaves trembling round, and early love 
Deep in each breast. What recked their souls of 
strife? 

#### They stood that hour, 

Speaking of hope while mountain, fount, and flower } 
And star just gleaming through the cedar boughs 
Seemed holy things as records of their vows; 
But change came o'er the scene. A hurrying tread 
Broke on the whispering shades, and then she 

knew 

The footstep of her father's wrath that fled 
Up whence the cedars make yon avenue 
Dim with green twilight; glitt'ring there she caught, 
Was it the flash of swords ? a swift, dark thought 
Struck down her lips rich crimson as it passed, 
And from her eye the sunny sparkle took 
One moment with its fearlulness, and shook 
Her slight frame fiercely, as a stormy blast 
Might shake the rose. Once more and yet once 

more, 
She stilled her heart to listen all was o'er ! 



Except the Falls of Niagara, the Falls of the 
Shenandoah, at Harper's Ferry, presents perhaps 
tne most awfully sublime prospect in America. 
The best view is that from the top of the " Pin- 
nacle," a rugged rock on the Maryland side of 
the Potomac, towering twelve hundred feet above 
the rushing river. From the little tongue of 
land between the two rivers at their juncture, 
and the two precipices of the mountain at its 
gap, the emotions arising from the beautiful and 
sublime in nature are pleasurable to a rapturous 
to an ecstatic degree but such emotions 
change their nature as the grand becomes the 
terrific the terrific stupendous! Few of our 
people have contempt enough for fatigue, or 
veneration enough for nature, to dare the labori- 
ous ascent of the Pinnacle to its highest point; 
fewer still have nerve enough to venture to the 
maddening edge of the tremendous precipice and 
look down. Something of the wild savage in 
her nature, that teaching never could tame, nor 
sorrow quite subdue, tempted one to the summit 
of that mountain, and to the very edge of that 
delirious precipice. At the first fearful look be- 
low, the whole stupendous scene moved- swam 
whirled around, as though from tne mountain- 
top she beheld the whole earth rolling away 
from beneath her feet ; and overwhelmed by the 
painful, the intolerable sense of the -awful fall, 
had nearly fallen. As soon as this first delirium 
of the nerves is over, this chaos of the mind 
settled, and mountain, glen and torrent fixed 
each in its place, the grandly expanded and 
deepened landscape, the nearly boundless depth 
and extent, seems as if the whole immense earth 



SHANNONDALE. 



45 



tvere hollowed out, cup-like, to its very centre 
and became a measureless green valley with il 
grand circumference of mountains, upon the ver 
edge of the highest of which we stand ! Below 
us fall rock after rock, precipice below preci 
pice, and abyes below abyss of foliage to an in 
interminable depth, Heemingly pausing throug 
the dark centre of the earth itself, and lost in 
the immensity of space ! 

It is not inspiring not exalting ! Oh ! fa 
from it ! It is depressing ! horribly depressing 
Before the majesty of soulless matter, the soul 
the deathless the daring the immortal ! shrink) 
with a shuddering sense of helplessness, of lost 
ness ! and believes in the possibility of annihila 
tion! 

The lower points of this rock are- frequent re 
sorts of the worshippers of the sublime ; but ] 
never heard of buUwo who ascended to the summit 
and came to the edge of the precipice, and one of 
these two registered a vow in heaven, that i 
ever she got back safr and sane upon the broad 
bosom of mother earth, never to risk her sanity 
and her faith in the supremacy of soul, and the 
immortality of mind, by confronting mere mat- 
ter in its most awful most terrific majesty ! 

But Harper's Ferry possesses other points of 
interest, besides the terrific scenery. It is rich 
in Revolutionary lore and Indian traditionand 
it is, besides, the Gretna Green of Virginia 
The reader will recollect that the laws govern 
ing the social and domestic relations of Virginia 
are founded, wherever the difference of position 
permits, upon those of England. In Virginia, as 
in Eagland, the marriage of minors, without the 
consent of their parents and guardians, is ille- 
gal, null and void. Now, though Harper's 
Ferry is in Virginia, yet it is upon the very 
boundary river separating that State from Mary- 
land, and a short distance from the County Court 
House of Washington County, in the latter State. 
Hence it is the most convenient place for the 
purpose, and is the resort of all the indiscreet 
and disobedient boys and girls of Virginia who 
choose to cast their fate upon the hazardous die 
of a rebellious and premature marriage. Yon 
would scarcely believe how many of these mar- 
riages come off every week at that place. So 
frequent are they*that an agent there keeps con- 
stantly on hand a file of blank licences, pur- 
chased from the County Clerk at Hagerstown, 
to be filled up when wanted. These marriages 
take place upon the bridge across the Potomac, 
beyond the high-water mark. And the State of 
Maryland annually gains many thousand dollars 
from the State of Virginia from that one source. 
At the time I write of there was EO bridge, and 
the present hotel did not exist, but on its site 
was a smaller one, kept by a Mr. Smilie, who 
owned the ferry-boat that plied between it and 
the opposite shore, 
it was there on the afternoon of a sultry Sep- 



tember day, that a very youthful pair rode in 
** hot haste, ' travel-stained, fatigued, and pale, 
up in front of the rural tavern. A hostler came 
out to take charge of the horses, and Ardenne, 
dismounting, lifted Winny from her saddle.^ 
The host, a dapper little man, with a round 
and smiling face, came out to meet and con- 
duct them in. 

"Is the Reverend Mr. Burleigh at the Ferry?" 
inquired Ardenne, in a low voice, as he drew 
the arm of Winny within his own, and led her 
into the house. 

" Yes ! yes ! he's here !" answered the host, 
with a sly smile, and a confidential air. 

Now there were really no confidences be- 
tween Ardenne and the hotel-keeper, to whom 
both himself and Winny were perfect strangers; 
but the former understood at a glance the state 
of affairs between the youthful couple, and lent 
himself to them accordingly. 

For one minute Winny was left in the par- 
lor alone, while Ardenne went to procure a 
small printed slip of paper at the bar. Then 
returning, he drew her arm within his own, and 
led her down to the beach, where waited the 
ferry-boat to convey them across to the Mary- 
land side. 

Winny was deadly pale, and looked exhaust- 
ed, but recognizing Father Burleigh in the boat, 
tier spirits revived for an instant, as she raised 
and kissed his hand- As they were going over 
the river, she raised her eyes to his venerable 
face, so beseechingly ! and murmured 

< Oh ! Father Burleigh ! do you think that 
we are doing so very wrong ?" 

"It is over late to ask that question now t 
Miss Darling!" 

" True," replied Winny, sadly and like 
many other prospective wrong-doers, she wished 
he wrong once completed, and the struggle 
over. 

They gained the other side they landed im- 
mediately under the dizzy heights of the Pin- 
nacle. They stood before the priest, with the 
avern-keeper and the ferryman for the witnesses. 
The book was opened the imposing ceremony 
commenced completed. 

The boy folded his child-bride to his bosom, 
and they were turning to leave the place, when 
he upraised hand and warning voice of the priest 
arrested them. 

I might not refuse to wed you ! biot such 
i marriage seldom, very seldom prospers ! Boy 
nd girl you have in your proper selves sinned 
gain the sin of our first parents ! You have in 
our proper persons incurred again the CURSK ! 
son of Adam ! in taking this child from her pa- 
ent's bosom, thou hast plucked again the for- 
idden fruit! Ardenne i in pain of body, m 
nxiety of mind, in failure of strength and dis- 
ppointment of heart, shalt thou expiate thy 
ftin ! and Winny ! Boy ! she has incurred the 



46 



SHANNON DALE. 



aorru .8 that wait on filial imp'ety, disobedience 
and rehelh'ii! but I charge thee to bear her u] 
and on through them all " 

Ardenne clasped Wmny more closely to hie 
heart 

< : As thou wouldst merit and win a final for 
givene<-s from Heaven 1" 

" At least we shall, together, meet wharevei 
comes/' was the uppermost thought in the hearts 
of both, as they re-entered the ferry-boat 

" Poor child, poor child where do you intend 
to take her now, Ardenne?" asked the priest 

" We shall remain here to-night and to-mor- 
row W>ni>y ? ' said the youth, suddenly appeal- 
ing to The girl. 

* To-morrow,' oh! to-morrow very, very 
early to-morrow, we must return to Oak Grove J 
must go at once to father and to dearest, dearest 
grandmother I" 

They landed on the other side and were walk- 
ing towards the house, when suddenly thunder- 
ing down the hill came a horseman at headlong 
peed, and Squire Darling throwing himself fran- 
tically from the saddle, rushed furiously towards 
the party, his face purple, his frame violently 
shaking with the very frenzy of auger ! bran- 
dishing two swords, and exclaiming, 

"Tni-f! kidnapper! villain! scoundrel ! trai- 
tor ! knave ! accursed knave ! draw and defend 
yonr reptile life, that I may not have the sin of 
murder on my soul!" he hurled one sword at 
Ardenne with so mucn violence that it must have 
struck him, but that his Winny, with the in- 
stinct of devotion and the speed of light, threw 
herself upon his bosom, receiving upon her own 
person the blow which felled her bleeding to the 
earth ! 

" Murderer ! you have killed your daughter!" 
exclaimed the priest, in the extremity of horror. 
"Devil send I dad killed both!" roared the 
madman; white with terror, nevertheless. Ar- 
denne hud sunk down and raised her partly on 
his lap, laid her falling head upon his bosom, and 
oh! in a remorse in a bitter, bitter sorrow., im- 
possible to describe ! impossible to conceive ! 
wa-i wiping with his handkerchief the blood that 
oozed from some inward wound from her lips ! 
while tbe priest kneeling, laved the young death. 
lik*> brow and temples with cold water. The 
frenzy, the dizzy, the blind delirium of his fury 
having been momentarily shocked away,- Squire 
Darling stood struck statue still with horror and 
remorse an instant and then advanced srowly, 
deprecatingly forward to look in fear upon his 
worfr! muttering to himself, "God Almighty 
knows I di'l not mean to strike her!" 
The news of *he act spread rapidly 



him! Strike him down if he resists!" sounded 
from all sides as the vill^g^rx came runtmig to 
the scene of the catastrophe ! Disturbed ?>y the 
noise, Wmny opened her gentle e^es, and fixing 
them tenderly on her father's countenance, mur- 
mured faintly, 

No not hurt, I am not hurt dear father 
not much." and then sank exhausted- 

" Arrest Squire Darling ! arrest the unnatural 
monster! knock him on the head if he resists!" 
tmmdered the crowd, pouring in, aid a scort- of 
hands fell upon the squire. Breaking from them 
with the strength and fury of an unchained 
demon, he roared in a frenzy of remorse, despair 
and rage : 

" H I and furies ! let me get at him ! he has 
made me kill my child ! let me finish the work 
by killing him!'' and would have fallen with a 
frantic ferocity upon Ardenne, but that a dozen 
hands intercepted the raining blows or his arms, 
while cries of "Arrest him!" "Knock him 
down!" "Unnatural monster!" resounded from 
ll quarters. 

At this moment, " Hands off Squire Darling, 

istantly ! and disperse, every one of you, to 

your home*!" exclaimed a stern, deep toned 



the murderer! arrest Squire Darling! Arrest ' got into his saddle. 



voice, and Colonel Dangerfield, in the calm 
majesty of his self-possession and authority, 
stood in their midst. And, to Squire Darling, 
who was still struggling violently to get at 
Ardenne, he said, " Madman ! double murderer! 
desist, and follow me ! your mother, i/our mother 
H dying !" 

Aroused by the sound, the violet eyes of the 
^rostrated girl, once more flew open ! She sprang 
o her feet, stretched out her arms appealingly to 
olonel Dangerfield, and gasping in heart break- 
ig accents, No, no ! no, no ! Oh, God, no ! 
>ot so! not dying! oh, not dying!" but the 
iood again gushed from her mouth, and she 
ank back into the extended arms of the wretched 
Ardenne 

" Bear her to the house at once, Mr. Ardenne. 
Mr Smiley, send instantly for a surgeon. 
Squire Darling, I believe, I hope your daughter 
s not mortally wounded ; but your mother is 
lying; you had best ride, at once, to Oak 
Jrove. Good people all disperse to your homes 
you do no good, but every sort of harm, here !" 
lomrnanded Colonel Dangerfield, M/ho of all the 
>arty was the only one left in possession of his 
en*es. His directions were generally followed. 
Ardenne, who, struck speechless with despair, 
ad from first to last, never once spoken, now 
moved off with his beloved burden. The squire, 
renzied, convulsed, white, foaming and frothy, 
et exhausted and nearly idiotic with the effect 
Arrest f the fury of contending passions, mechanically 



SH ANNO N D ALE. 



47 



CHAPTER XIII. 

OAK GROVE. 

Sec'sf them yon gray gleaming hall, 
Where the deep oak shadows full? 
Voice> th.it have left the spot 

Long ago, 
Still are murmuring round its hearth, 

Soft and low : 
Ever there, yet one alone 
Hath the gift to hear their tone. 
Gue t> come thither and depart, 
Fiee of step and light of heart; 
Children, with ^weet visions blest, 
In the haunted chambers rest; 
One alone unslumbering lies, 
When the night hath sealed all eyes; 
One quick heart and watchful ear, 
Listening for those whispers clear. 

Hemans. 

A year, with its moral and its atmospherical 
vicissitudes with its toils and struggles its 
hopes and fears its disappointments and vic- 
tories its sins and sorrows its loves and joys 
a year, with its fruitful autumn, its hoary 
winter, its bu'iding, blooming spring, and its 
exuberant luxuriance of summer has passed 
since the warm eve in September when Winny 
Darling gave herself to Edgar Ardenne. 

Let us tirst take a glance at Oak Grove. Mrs. 
Darling, the old lady, whom we left prostrate on 
what we supposed to be her death- bed, did not, 
neverthelesi, die then or there, nor did she yet 
fully recover. That strong, unyielding, invinci- 
ble tenacity of vitality which distinguishes some 
organizations, successfully resisted death, and 
she lived ; but what a wreck of her former self! 
more welcome, less appalling must have been 
death ! She lived, and sat confined to her arm 
chair, in her own lonely and solitary chamber, j 
paralyzed in mind and body nothing but the 
loving heart left living in its pristine, in its im 
mortal strength! 

Where is Winny ? Send Winny to me ! ] 
want Winny !" she would pleadingly say toSina 
Hinton, who, with her diabolical cunning, had 
contrived to get the chief charge and control of 
;he unfortunate lady. 

Yes, yes, we will send for her; you shall see 
ler!" Sina would reply. 

But when, when," with a child-like perti- 
nacity she would entreat. 

" Oh, to-morrow ; you shall see Winny to- 
morrow !" would be the reply of the guileful 
girl, thinking, perhaps, that the old lady would 
forget ; but, no, her heart never forgot ! In the 
morning she would be sure to wake early, and 
insist on being dressed soon, and sit in her arm- 
chair, for, Winny is coming to-day I" she 
would say to her old waiting-maid, and the poor 
old servant, not knowing that her lady had been 
deceived by a promise, and thinking that in that 



also her mma wandered, would go out. to weep 
over the ruined intellect ot her old. old compa- 
nion and mistress of nearly three-quarters of a 
century. And as the hours pass^n and trip day 
advanced, the invalid would look, and watch, 
and inquire, and weep and sometimes, with a 
prophetic glimpse of the truth, she would say 
her very errors of speech making her lamenta- 
tions more pathetic 

" Oh, I shall see Winny never no more ! never 
no more !" 

She knew Sina Hinton perfectly ; for, as her 
intellect weakened, her instincts became more 
subtle. 

" Send that girl away I" she would say to her 
son, in the very presence of Sina, " she makes 
misery!" 

But Sina Hinton sweet, considerate, forgiving 
soul! would go to her, and coo and caress, 
while the old lady would shrink in loathing from 
her contact. 

What an angel of goodness you are, Miss 
Hinton! And, oh, my poor mother, what a 
wreck ! what a wreck ! and to think that she 
should injure you so, Sina f sweet, soft Sioa ! 
but never mind, my darling girl ! sole comfort 
of my afflictions! my consoler! my beautiful 
consoler ! Never mind! bear this a little longer! 
do not leave me ! Oh, Sina, how shall J ever 
repay you, my best, best girl, for all your self- 
devotiori in staying here? but never mind Sina, 
you shall be rewarded richly rewarded,- by 
George! shall you!" the squire would exclaim, 
with enthusiastic gratitude. 

Thus the instincts, the inspirations of the old 
lady were neglected as the senseless gibberish 
of dotage, while the falsities of the doutily-dyed 
traitress were received as so much nohness and 
truth. Her intuition soon divined the influence 
this fatal girl possessed with her son the ascen- 
dency she was gradually gaining over him ; and 
daily would she bow her pure heart before this 
polluted power, and plead for her she loved. 

" Send for Winny ! Let Winny come home 
and take the rest! that is all C want in this 
world ! Winny home !" and daily the deceitful 
girl would promise that " Winny shall come to- 
norrow" and daily that promise would be 
broken, and the sad plaint would recur, Oh! I 
shall never see Winny again! never no more!'* 
But the words do not suggest the tone of deep 
despair in which they were uttered. Thus day 
after day, in sickening " hope deferred/' lingered 
this loving and suffering heart Who car* guess 
the torture the anguish of this soul feeling 
most poignantly all the sorrows of a bereave- 
ment she could yet neither understand nor cure. 
She seemed once to feel that Winny was suffer- 
ng from poverty not from hearing any oce say 
so, for the name of the lost daughter 

" Was banished from each lip and ear, 
Like words of wantonness .ir t'ear, J> 



43 



S H A N N O N D A L E. 
One dav while uer . au^h^r 



but from a sort of instinct 

ait'nti-maid was dressing her, she said sud- 
denly, * G > and ask my eon to send me some 
mon^y." And when the servant went, and when 
the squire, greatly wondering at what he called 
his "old mother's new whim," sent back the 
purse, she took it, examined the contents, and 
then returning it to the hand of the old maid, 
aid, " Send this to Winny ! now do you hear, 
Maul; send this to Winny and do not say a 
word about, it to any one. Why doesn't she 
come? Why doesn't she come? TV11 her I 
am not angry with her, poor child ! tell her I 
pray for her I love her i bless her ! tell her 
to come and not be afraid !" This was the 1st 
of September. And from that time for weeks 
when her meals were brought to her, she laid by 
the choicest morsels on a separate plate, and 
would say confidently to her maid, " Carry that 
to Winny." And the old servant would humor 
what she called her "whim," by taking the 
plate out, pretending to obey her. Sometimes 
her mind wandered sadly. One night Squire 
Darling came into her room to ask her how she 
felt herself. He expressed surprise at finding her 
still up. " Oh, child ! I am waiting for Winny 
to come and comb my hair." She answered as 
quietly as if Winny had never left home. Some- 
times her imbecility bordered upon actual in- 
sanity. Once this was in the middle of Sep- 
temberold Nerve coming to the house to pay 
her " duty to old mistress," went up to her 
room, and found her tottering about the cham- 
ber, holding on to chairs and by bed-posts, and 
taking down chintz and gingham wrappers that 
hun^ in the wardrobe or upon wooden pins 
against the wall. As her faithful servant en. 
tered, she sank, trembling, into a chair, and 
pointing to the little pile, she said, " Take carry 
it to poor Winny it will do to make the baby 
some slip* " 

"The baby!" exclaimed old Nerve, in per- i 
plexity. 

Yes Winny has been here to-day. She came 
in at the door, looking so thin and pale, and \ 
dressed so poorly and she carried a little bit of ; 
a baby in her arms ; poor thing, she's nothing 
but a baby herself and she brought it and laid 
it on my lap and asked me what she should 
call her little girl and 1 told her to call it 
Angela, after her mother. And then Sina, Hin- 
ton came to the door, and Winny ran away 
frightened. Now carry this bundle to Winny 
tell her she may take it, for it is mine, my 
clothes. I have given everything else away to 
my son and daughter and have nothing left but 
these my clothes. Tell Winny I am coming to 
live with her, and nurse her until she gets well, 
for the is sick " Thus reason and madness 
itrove in her mind ; and she who remembered 
her <*; destitution of property, forgot her utter 
inability to take care of herself much less 



ain>f.Vr Nerve gathered up trie things, and 
took them out of her room to " humor ole Mis- 
t'ees." 

,\i d will it be asked had this beautiful love 
still more beautiful amid the ruins of her body 
and her mind- had this beautiful love ro power 
to soften the heart of the son and father to wards 
his daughter? Little, or no pover! Squire 
Darling was not one to appreciate the spiritual, 
the divine loveliness of this principle outliving 
as it did, the death of all else ! His mother was 
"old and childish it would not do to mind 
her," he would say with a sigh. And some- 
times, in some less stern mood, he would say, 
" If Winny would discard the fellow ! would 
promise never to see, or speak to him again ! 
never to write, send a message, or receive one 
from the rascal ! then, disobedient and rebellious 
as she had been, she might come back he 
would forgive her! but never, never, NBVEB! 
while she was the wife of that infernal scoun- 
drel who stole her, his only child, from his 
bosom should she enter his doors, for any pur- 
pose whatever, so help him God!" And he 
hoped that she would be frozen, starved and 
worked into some sense of her guilt yet !" And 
then again, he would furiously inquire, " Why 
does not the ungrateful huzzy write to me ? No ! 
she has never written me one letter! she does not 
care for me ! she is entirely taken up with her 
pretty fellow devil burn him ! I'm nobody but 
an old fool, that might be useful in pushing on 
my gentleman set fire to him ! I'd push him 
up a ladder to the gallows, with infinite good 
will !" 

Those who are in the habit of observing human 
nature have noticed and sex must have some- 
thing to do withtit that mothers are rather apt 
to be jealous of their sons' wives, while they 
have no such feeling towards their daughters' 
husbands and on the contrary, fathers, who are 
extremely given to love and pet their daughters- 
in-law, not seldom grow very jealous of their 
aons-in-law. This feeling is increased in strength 
a hundred fold, in the case of an only child. 
Squire Darling was an extreme case oi the latter 
instance. From his oum nature, and from the 
nature of his love for Winny, as his only child, 
his sole, exclusive affection, he must have been 
jealous of any man who could rival, much more 
exceed him in her heart, and would have had to 
struggle with a tendency to dislike her lover, or 
husband, however high in birth and rank, and 
rich in wealth and distinction he tfiight have 
been ; and towards Ardenne, one without family, 
without fortune, without distinction or influence 
of any sort, and, one who had besides stolen his 
daughter away, he bore the most jealous, burn- 
ing, and consuming hatred ! He who liked " a 
good hater," would have rejoiced in Squire Dar- 
ling ! 

Mrs. Summerfield would often visit her mo- 



SHANNONDALE. 



tner, and wished with true filial duty and affec- 
tion to take her over to Red-Stone Hall, to as- 
sume the whole charge and care of the invalid 
herself, but the old lady refused to stir from Oak 
Grove. 

No, no, Margaret ! I love you dearly, my 
daughter ; but you are rich and happy, and have 
health and friends, and do not need me. No, 
no, Margaret; I must wait here for poor Winny! 
If she ever comes back, I want to bo here to re- 
ceive her, and to protect her from her father's 
rage, you know. No, no, Margaret; I must 
stay here and wait for poor Winny, or, if I go 
any where, 1 must go live with Winny, to taJce 
care of her , poor baby !" she would persist, for- 
getful of her inability. 

Mrs. Summerfield had once spoken to her bro- 
ther in behalf of his erring child ; but the un- 
governable fury into which the very sound of her 
name threw him, the frightful oaths with which 
he swore that so long as she even went by the 
name of that thrice accursed scoundrel," she 
should never blast his sight by crossing his 
threshold for any purpose whatever, shocked and 
stunned the lady into that strict silence upon the 
subject of the lost daughter, that had been 
sternly enforced upon every other member of the 
family. 

Sina Hinton ! more than any other evil cha- 
racter it has been my fate to portray, I detest 
Sina Hinton ! We admire the fierce beauty and 
strength of the lion and the tiger, even when 
shunning their destroying fury 5 but we loathe 
the slime of the serpent even more than we 
fear the venom of its fangs. Sina Hinton played 
her part as she kuew how to play it artfully 
intercepting all let I ers and messages, and skill- 
fully preventing all interviews that promised the 
most distant hope of a reconciliation ; and withal 
making herself so necessary to all the family, 
as to draw from thi reserved and dignified Mrs. 
Summerfield the frequent commendation of 
Miss Hinton, my brother and myself can never 
do enough to testify our appreciation and our 
gratitude for all your goodness \ n 

CHAPTER XIV. 

WHAT LOVB IN A COTTAGE IS SOMETIMES LIKE. 

Patience and sorrow strive 
Which shall express her goodliest. 

Shakspeare. 

Winny Darling had been brought up with even 
., I more tenderness than Southern girls usually 
. 5 are a grandmother's pet from earliest infancy 
1. I an only child of his idolized and lost wife, a fa- 
ther's half-worshipped darling the heiress be- 
sides of an immense fortune Winny had been 
surrounded from babyhood with a love and an 
ibservance that had guarded her from even the 



49 

idea of inconvenience of any sort, much less from 
hardship. So much love a&d 1 had almost said 
reverence, paid to a child naturally leas amiable 
than Winny would have spoiled her disposition, 
AS it spoiled her ability. In her father's house 
Miss Darling had been wakened by her maid 
every morning at seven o'clock to take her bath. 
Then while sitting at her ease, her hair had been 
combed out and curled, and her shoes and block- 
ings put on, and atterward her morning toilet 
completed without a thought or an act of her 
own in the matter. Old Nerve had washed and 
dressed her " little missey" when she was six 
days old, and she continued to do it when she was 
sixteen years without a thought of ceasing. Her 
grandmother, too, had expressed an opinion that 
it was much better for a young maiden like. Miss 
Darling to have an old, faithful a,nd attached 
dressing-maid, than a young and thoughtless one 
as ignorant as herself. So Nerve had remained 
in her service, petting and spoiling her to her 
heart's content, and guardir-g her as carefully 
from learning to think or act for herself, as she 
would have shielded her from war, pestilence, or 
famine. Winny's rooms, wardrobe, books, mu- 
sic, pictures, etc., were kept in order ; and her 
walks, rides, baths, etc., arranged without a 
single volition of her own will in the matter. It 
was one of the thirty-nine articles" of their re- 
ligious creed to love and serve Miss Darling. Or 
if Winny did any little voluntary bit of work, it 
was some unnecessary trifle to which her affec- 
tionate heart alone would prompt her such as 
displacing her grandmother's maid, for the sake 
of bathing, rubbing and caressing the old lady'^ 
feet, or doing the duty of her father's body ser- 
vant by mixing his mint-julep, and setting him 
to swearing by spoiling it! CJpon such occa- 
sions he wanted to know what the mischief was the 
use of his having half a thousand of lazy negroes, 
if his daughter had to wait upon him like a foot- 
boy he wanted to know, for instance, what was 
the utility of anybody having dogs a.nd barking 
themselves ? And if Winny put in any sweet, af- 
fectionate word about the duty and the pleasure of 
waiting on her father, he would call it romantic 
rubbish, and say that things were adapted to 
uses, and uses to things, and that to put Winny 
Darling to mixing toddy was about as wise as to 
take one of her own silk scarfs to wipe tumblers 
with. I am sorry to acknowledge it hut as there 
is a necessity upon me to speak and write the truth 
without idealizing it must be confessed that 
these instances betray more innate vulgarity 
than chivalric feeling in the pride of our fat and 
fair-haired squire. 

Madam Winifred, with all her refinement, fully 
appreciated the religious sentiment in Winny's 
love and proffered services, though she would 
sometimes say to her 

There are other and more useful ways of re- 



SHANNONDALE. 



realing affection, my own darling, than by these 
menial services that any other might do as well." 

Ah, but, grandmother, don't you know that 
the more humble a service is, the deeper the plea- 
sure it gives me ? When I am sitting on the 
floor bathing your dear, white feet, grandmother, 
or w ien 1 am combing out your long, soft hair 
1 have a feeling of -profound content as when I 
hush my heart and bow my head to receive the 
priest's benedieite." 

And sometimes in a lighter mood she would 
ay 

" Indeed, grandmother, you would let me be 
your little waiting-maid, if you only believed 
what an hourly satisfaction, what a real sub- 
stantial earthly bread and meat satisfaction it 
would be to mel It is such a starvation of the 
heart to keep my hands away from any one I 
love ; and it is such a down right heartfelt content 
such a feast to be fingering about them." 

But I have been led too far from the point of 
time. Now all was changed with Winny. She 
had fallen, smote down to the earth by the sud- 
den news that her beloved grandmother was 
dying ; fainting from the loss of blood, she had 
been carried into the small tavern and laid upon 
an humble bed in a hot, close little room, which 
was nevertheless the best one in the house.. 
When restoratives were applied, and she re- 
covered from one fainting fit with renewed rea- 
son and memory, it was only to fall into another 
and more dangerous one. Indeed the physician 
said that it was only the free bleeding at the 
lungs, dangerous though it was, and the extreme 
physical prostration caused thereby, together 
with the counter irritation, that preserved her 
brain and saved her reason from a total and 
final overthrow ! Thus for weeks she lay alter- 
nating between death- like swoons, and short con- 
vulsive spasms of life, of keenest anguish and 
remorse ! 

And ell this time Ardenne, in the bitterness 
of a sorrow and repentance scarcely less than 
her own, watched by her bedside ; nor night 
nor day, for an hour, resigned his post while 
flesh and health and strength passed from him 
unnoticed, until he grew as thin, as pale, and 
almost as feeble as the wan, wan form languish- 
ing, withering before him. Was it a really sin- 
cere repentance then ? Did they indeed wish 
that their error could be blotted out the ill- 
tarred marriage under the rock could be an- 
nulled, and each restored she to her family, he 
to his freedom ? No ! no ! no ! by all the mu- 
tual angujsh, by Vll the remorse that only served 
to knit their hearts more closely together no! 
Each felt in the first calmly conscious meeting 
of their eyes, 'each felt more than ever now, in 
this season of bitter trial that were the whole 
pvt to be lived over, the error would be com- 
mitted, the anguish risked again ! No! no! no- 
thing but the hopeless, the impossible defection 



of one, or of the other, could have brougbt either 
to wish their act annulled. Yet Squire 1) rling, 
quoting the familiar proverb. " When poverty 
comes in at the door, love flies out at the win- 
dow," hoped and believed that their attachment 
would in a few weeks, or months, be starved, 01 
frozen, or fatigued out. And it may be so with 
a hasty, fanciful and factitious sentiment, a tin- 
sel counterfeit of the pure gold of affection but. 
theirs, with all the sin and sorrow it had caused, 
was nevertheless, deep, earnest and true may 
their patience and fidelity atone for and redeem 
them ! Their honey-moon was not that of ro- 
mantic young lovers though be it remembered 
both were v< ry young, he nineteen, she sixteen. 
No! it had been passed in agony of body and 
anguish of mind, prostrate upon a bed of extreme 
illness by Winny, and in constant, fatiguing sor- 
rowful and remorseful watching by Ardenne! 
But they were unselfish, disinterested, devoted 
and this sorrow endeared them to each other 
more, oh, how much more than weeks passed in 
health and revelry. Every care he lavished 
upon the languishing one every fatigue he in- 
dured for her sake, but deepened his affection for 
her but rivetted his attachment to her. "I 
am proving what the inspired angel said," he 
thought, " I am proving that bodily pain and 
fatigue, without moral suffering, endured for a 
loved on*, is a deep, religious joy with and for 
moral suffering, it is an alleviation, or cure!" 
Her suffering, his devotion, their youth and 
beauty and warm affection, drew around them 
the sympathies of all the small town ; yes ! the 
sympathies even of the cold-hearted gathered 
around their lovesj as the shivering draw around 
a warm hearth for its pleasant heat. Of course 
the whole story was known. And 1 am afraid 
Squire Darling's conduct and character suffered 
more severe animadversion than was strictly 
just. The two best physicians of the county, 
Doctors Tidball and Lackland, attended her, yet 
both declared that all their science would have 
been powerless to have saved her lile, had it not 
been for the constant, the vigilant the untiring 
care of Ardenne, and the inspired tact, amount- 
ing almost to a sixth sense, with which he in- 
stantly detected the mutations and crisis of her 
illness. With all this care her life was eaved, 
but it was four weeks before it was deemed safe 
to tell her any news that might startle or sur- 
prise. At last, about the first of October, she 
was told that her grandmother still liv*>d that 
though paralized, there was no immediate fear of 
her death. But, oh! could Winny rejoice in 
that spared life, with that shattered frame, and 
ruined mind ? Her slow, extremely slow con- 
valescence, was passed in penitential tears and 
prayers, alas ! so inconsistently ! for a fault she 
felt she should commit again, were the tempta- 
tion again before her. But perhaps Winny j 
prayed, as I am afraid too many of us do quite 



SHANNONDALE. 



unconsciously pray ; namely to be forgiven, to 
be remitted the just punishment of the sin, not 
to be cleansed from the dear sin itself! And for 
Ardenne, it did seem too severe it would have 
wearied out any one less patient than himself, 
to find that after all his devotion to her, after all 
his nights and days of extreme fatigue and anx- 
iety, that alter his almost miraculous restora- 
tion of her lite her convalescence should be 
passed in weeping and wailing ; bui he never 
thought of that ! nver, never grew tired of try- 
ing to soothe, to console her. Thus passed the 
second month of their marriage. 

It was the first of Nove nber before she was 
able to leave her room. She wrote to her father 
imploring his forgiveness imploring permission 
only to come and see her poor, dear grandmother. 
To this letter she received this curt and sharp 
reply. 

" When you have bidden a final farewell to the 
accursed hireling knave who stole his master's 
daughter from his house when you have sworn 
never to see, speak to, or write to him, or re- 
ceive any letter or message from him when in 
short, you part with him as with the deau then 
and not till then, shall you enter my house ! 01 
need send no more letters, for I s all reply to 
none not prefaced with the surrender of th- d 
footman you have married. You kno ^ the terms, 
and you know me. JARED DARLING.' 

Ardenne and Winny were sitting rogether 
when this crueJ letter came. She read it, and 
the sudden, deep despair that struck all color 
from her very lips, revaled to Ardenne the death 
of her hopes, Winny looked at him, and held 
the letter towards the fire. 

"Yes! burn it, darling!" said Ardenne, di- 
vining her embarrassment ; and she let it go 
into the blaze, and dropped herself into the kind 
arms opened to receive her. Not a word more 
was said about the letter. 

Winny, love ! we must leave this place, do 
you not know it?" 

Oh, yes!" 

There are two plans, Winny, that I have to 
propose to you. The first is, that -ve shall go to 
the Western country to begin life with a new 
territory, a young couple h a young Si ate, and 
grow with it There, Winny i should not dread 
a failure in a competition vita the strongest! 
A fevv years of healthfu! roil, and then a bril- 
liant future f " and for the first time since their 
ill omened marriage. L'iseyessparkledashespoke. 

' And the other plan, Edgar?" 

"Is this, my darling To stay here yet a 
few years, and meet what threatens ; for I think, 
Winnv, that you would grieve to desert the 
ae bor^ood, whil<* your good an : suffering 
grand noth*r still lives ; you would grieve to 
leave her ill an- suffer! g with the certainty of 
never seeing -jr again ! ' 



51 



But, Ed^ar! I could not. upon that acco <n-, 
blight all your future life ! Now . ould sm- ad- 
vise grandmother, herself, would not counsel 
me to do it." 

"Love! love! I am not twenty, yet staying 
here a few years, would not < blight' all my fa- 
ture life while leaving her now, might sadden 
all yours. It is that I would avert, Winny. : 

" Ardenne ! will you do as you please b* ing 
sure that I shall know it to bo altogether 
right?" 

" But I would have your counsel, Winny." 
" Ah ! I wish I could assist you with my 

thoughts but I have no knowledge of the world, 

you know." 

* Your thoughts are purer your counsel really 
wiser for that, my love knowledge of the world 
is oftentimes a gambler's knowledge of tricks 
ac cards and we do not wish to enter life as a 
game, dear; so give me your honest thoughts" 
" Oh, but Edgar ! mv judgment is not good," 
" You have been told so, dear, until you be- 
lieve it! Whoever could have taught you so, 
dear ? you must not set out by being persuaded 
that you have a poor judgment, anri then let it 
grow really imbecile for want of exercise In 
this march of life, I do not wish to goon in advance 
alone, selfishly laying out the future and turning 
to consort with you, only in hours of idleness 
and relaxation No ! I love you too entirely 
too wholly ; we must be one in mind, as in 
heart ; I would have you go step by step with 
me if you fail to come up, I must fall back. 
Now to return to this subject, Winny, we must 
decide it soon. What is your opinion ?" 

" Dear Edgar ; can I take the responsibility 
of advising you when inclination so strongly 
biasses the little judgment 1 have " 
" And this inclination, Winny ; I divine it. 
In a word, it was settled between them that 
they should remain in the neighborhood for the 
present. And then he drew a small table to the 
fire, between them, and said, 

" Now, dear, let us see what we have to com- 
mence with," and taking out his purse, one that 
Winny had knit for him, he turned its -orients 
upon the board Nineteen dollars." He wrote 
lown that sum, and then taking his watch, 
chain and pencil, placed them with the money 
<They cost two hundred dollars they will 
bring half price ;" he wrote down one hundred. 
A seal ring drawn from his little finger was 
added to the pile, and " ten dollars" added to 
the list. Then a very small diamond broach, 
which he valued at fifteen dollars, completed the 
um. And Winny drew from her finger a small 
ring, a ruby heart, set around with pearls, and 
laid it with the others, sa ^ ing, 

That is all I have ; I never carried a purse 
of money, or a watch and chain, never having 



SHANNONDALE. 



had use for either ; but that little ring is valu- 
able. I think, as a ring." 

And Ardenne. silently took it up, and would 
have replaced it on the small finger, but with a 
mile she stopped him, pointing to the third 
finger of her left hand, she said, 

< See ! 1 have still another ring ! a dearer ring, 
that shall never leave my finger !" 

" We have about a hundred and fifty dollars 
then, dear." 

On ! I have more jewelry at home, a great 
deal more a complete set of pearls and a com- 
plete set of sapphires I wonder if I were to 
end tor my wardrobe, if father would send them 
to me ?" 

" Do not send for them, Winny." 

And then there is my little Sea Foam a 
mall fortune to you and me." 

" He must be returned to your father's 
stables, dear. It should have been done long 
ago, but 1 waited to speak to you on the sub- 
ject." 

"But why? why? he was purchased for 

" For your use, dear ; you were a minor ; you 
owned nothing not your palfrey not your 
jewelry" 

" Still, if we send Sea Foam home, my father 
wilt send him back, since no one wants him 
there ; and if my father happens to think of my 
wardrobe, books, piano, and all my little per- 
sonal effects, he will be sure to send them, for 
he may be furious and destroying, but not mean 
in his revenge." 

"I shall be glad for your sake then, dear 
Winny." 

That same evening Ardenne hired a man to 
take back Sea Foam to Oak Grove. He himself 
got in the stage and rode to Winchester, to dis- 
pose of their jewelry, which, contrary to his ex 
pectations, brought them nearly two hundred 
dollars. With that he returned to Winny, and 
to settle their debts that had remained unpaid up 
to this time- 

Then it was that Ardenne tasted for the first 
time one of the " sweets" of adversity, in find- 
ing how much goodness, how much simple gene- 
rosity, and guileless, unconscious magnanimity, 
may exist among the roughest and most unpre- 
tending of our fellow creatures. First he called 
for the host and his bilJ, and the little, fat 
landlord, with his round, baby face and simple 
manner, entered the parlor. 

I have to apologize for not asking for, sod 
settling my bill before, Mr. Smiley but well ! 
Mrs. Ardenne and myself leave you to-day, and 
so I wish to settle with you now." 

Now this little, round landlord had a bad name 
in the county a thriftless, good-for-nothing fel- 
low, always in debt, always behind hand, never 
quite sober though never altogether drunk. At 
this moment he had not fiv dollars in his till, 



! for, b* it remembered that Harper's Ferry^ was 
i not then the great railway thoroughfare that it 
j is now, nor did it boast the comfortable and well 
i kept hotel that now marks the site where then 
I stood the little tavern, kept by the little land- 
' lord, Sammy Smiley, the brother of the priest's 
I housekeeper. 

" Have you the bill about you, sir ?" 

The little host sat down in a chair, drew up 
his feet, rubbed and stroked his little, fit knees, 
and smiled. Ardenne was standing before him, 
pocket-book in hand, enacting patronising wealth. 

The bill, if you please, sir we are hurried." 

" The bill ! oh aye yes, to be sure ! the bill 
I I've mislaid it some where it it's lost 
some other time !" 

" Can't you recollect the amount, sir ?" 

"The amount! oh! yes, certainly, the 
amount was was it's gone dean out of my 
head ! 'pon my word, I don't know what the 
amount was any other time will do as well !" 

" Be so good as to make it out again, if you 
please, sir." 

"I I ,1 haint time indeed, indeed I haint!" 
said the landlord, with awkward embarrassment, 
yet looking so lovingly at the poor young parr 
as if his little lymphatic body were about to deli- 
quesce in tears. 

"It will take you but a moment, Mr. Smi- 
ley!" 

But I haint that moment to spare I indeed, 
indeed I haint ! I'm very busy I'm I'm awfully 
pushed with work! I I 'clare to heaven, 
I am!" persisted the landlord, looking, in every 
soft curve of his gentle face and frame, the very 
image of an easy mind and infinite leisure ! 
Ardenne could not fail to understand his simple 
hypocrisies now. He seized his little, chubby 
hand, and pressing it fervently, said, 

Smiley, my dear friend, I see your motive, 
and from the bottom of my heart thank you for 
your kindness ; but you know, my good fellow, 
I cannot, with any sort of self- respect ' 

Here the little host broke in, blushing like a 
school-boy detected in lying, and exclaimed, 

Oh, my dear sir ! Mr. Ardenne ! 1 hadnt 
such a thought ! / insult a gentleman in that 
way, because he is a little unfortunate, or so? 
never ! 

" My good friend, 1 am not insulted what I 
be insulted at your generous goodness, however 
mistaken it might be ? In my turn, I say wavsr / 
Speak, Winny! speak, darling! for 1 see your 
face glowing, and your eyes fulLof sweet tears." 

I wanted to say," said Winny, taking the 
host's other chubby hand between her own deli- 
cate ones, " I wanted, so much, to say, that we 
should have more than the wickedness of Luci- 
fer's own pride to get offended at your goodness, 
when we ought to be, and we are, very grateful. 
We shall never, never forget all your kindness 
to us," said she, very softly, with tears in her 



SHANNONDALE. 



eyes, and caressing the good band " but, you 
knovv you must not thmlc that we are ungrateful, 
or proud, because we refu^ to remain in your 
debt you must let us ke^p our self-respect it 
is all that we have left." 

Hp hounded the little landlord like a little foot- 
ball, rolling and bouncing about the room in a 
perfect delirium of distress, exclaiming 

" Poor boy! poor girl! nothing but children! 
thing but babies! no forethought no airs 
eitner ! so simple f so good even in their nat'rel 
pride ! May the devil flv away with me alive 
the day 1 take the first red penny from them ! 
Has he got any business? tell me that?" de- 
manded the landlord, suddenly confronting them. 
< No, Smiley, my good friend, but " 
"But hut the winter's coming on ! and winter's 
no joke in the mountains f See here. Mr. Ardenne 
liste-i to m a while, and if I make you mad, 
without meaning to, 1 shall get this little dear 
child to make it up betwixt us ! Jest 1.4 that there 
Stand till trie old man comes round ! He'll do it ! 
he can't help it! it's agin nater to hold out agin 
one's own dear child, I know it! I'm a father 
myself, you ee f and no matter what my gall 
was to do though God forbid she should hear 
me say it ! I 'clare to God A'mighty, 1 couldn't 
turn agin her ! I couldn't, indeed ! And he 
won't! though he oughter, you know, children ! 
and so, sir, just let the what-you-call-um stand 
awhile." 

The little man seemed even to avoid saying 
" bill" or account" to them. 

But Ardenne was as obdurate in wishing to 
discharge his little obligations as ever creditor 
could have been in exacting a debt Finally, 
the landlord promised him upon his word and 
honor, his sacred honor, that he would make 
out the account and send it to him in the course 
of that week without fail a promise which the 
little hopt had not the slightest idea of fulfilling 
I am sorry for it, sorry that a man ot so much 
Kindness of heart should have so little regard 
for his word, but it was "all along" of his ha- 
ving a big bump of benevolence, ditto firm- 
ness, and a very small hint of conscientiousness. 
Leaving their parlor, he met the docfor, who 
had stopped to water his horses, and wine hiitoself. 
"S*-e here, doctor! Ah! lam glad I met you 
dow'fgoin there he'll be worrying you about 
paving bis bill> and I heard you say, 1 think 
didn't 7, doctor '' 

What? You heard me say nothing !" 
Well, anyhow, I heard you think that you 
wouldn't be in a hurry about the thing-a-me 1" 

Half- laughing, the doctor passed the bustling 
little landlord, and, notwithstanding his behest, 
went into the parlor. As he had anticipated, 
there stood Ardenne, readv for him. He inqui- 
red about Wii^ny's health, gave her some ad- 
vice, and noticing a little hacking cough for the 
first time, asked her how she had got it. She 
5 



53 



did not know it had come on very gradually 
it was nothing, she said, only a little "uckling" 
in the region of the old hemorrhage. But the 
doctor looked very serious as he held her slightly 
feverish little hand, and observed the small iso- 
lated crimson spot not larger than a rose-leaf 
on her wan left cheek ; and promised to come 
and see them often in a friendly way Then 
Ardenne expressed a wish to settle with him ; to 
which the doctor replied in a cool, business-like 
manner, that he only sent out his account* half- 
yearly, that the first of the coming January 

was the next epoch of settlement in order and 

drawing on his gloves and taking his hat, he 
wished them good morning. 



When the man commissioned to take Sea Foam 
to Oak Hall, arrived at its gates, he was told 
that the squire was taking his after-dinner nap, 
but that Miss Hinton, who acted for him in his 
absence, was at hand So the man led beautiful 
Sea Foam up to the front of the piazza, where 
Sina stood to receive him. Sending for a groom, 
she quietly dispatched the palfrey to the stables, 

and dismissed the messenger without a word. 

Nothing was said about the return of the pony, 
for Miss Hinton reminded the servants that they 
were forbidden by toeir master to make any 
the slightest allusion to his lost daughter. 
Squire Darling had never missed Sea Foam from 
the stables in short, -iad never wasted a single 
thought upon him., and of course kne v nothing 
about his return. Thus Wmny failed to receive 
again her favorite 

CHAPTER XV. 

THEIR HOME 

A lone dwelling, built by whom or how, 
None of the ru-tic mountain people know. 
The cliff and hou-e are high 
Nature with all her children haunts the hill; 
The spotted deer bar.ks ia the fre^-h moonlight 
Before the door ; this is their home in life 

Shelley 

A deep shadow rested upon the brow of Ar- 
denne, as, with Wi^ny on his arm, he wended 
his way along a narrow path leading up the moun- 
tain side The weight oi a grave fault and a 
heavy responsibility :vas res>tu<g upon his young 
spirit. He had not felt this while Winny was 
ill; he had only striven to save her life orUy 
prayed for her restoration but now that she 
was spared to him, how was he to secure the 
happiness, or even the comfort of this fragile 
life, how, with his utmost efforts, should he 
preserve her from the inevitable hardships in 
store for her ? Ev^ry ircumstance pressed 
this question home upon him. They had not 
walked a hundred yards up the hill, before her 



cheek flushed deeply, and so great was the pai 
pitation of ner heart, taat tie felt the vein* and 
nerves of the small arm resting on his own. throb 
and tremble violently, and he reproached him 
self severely for suffering her to walk. Yet 
carnages and horses were very expensive, anc 
economy must commence some time. 

" Winny, sit down here, dear, and rest a 
while,' he said, and arranged her seat under a 
tree upon the side of the hill, .vith some broken 
pie-a of rock, seated her carefully, and sitting 
by her side, put his arm around her waist, and 
drawing her head down on his bosom, looked 
into her sweet wan face With such intense, ab 
soibing interest, as to seem, for a while, quite 
lost in the breathless contemplation. How 
faded, how broken she looked already ! Oh. she 
was dying like a plucked flower on his bosom, 
and he could never survive her, he thought. 
Winny's sweet eyes, upturned to nis, read the 
poor boy's thought, and she replied, softly 
smiling- 

"Do not be uneasy about me, dear Edgar! 
You know people recovering from illness are 
always -veak I am asaamed of my long-con- 
tinued weakness, and shall try to grow strong. 
1 am gaining strength every day " 

Here she was interrupted by that slight, but 
constantly recurring cough. 

" This will not do, either, dear ; the dews are 
beginning to fall, and you will take cold," said 
ne, and after looking at her a moment with a 
faint smile, he stooped suddenly, and before she 
could object, raised ner light form in his arms, 
and bore her up the hill. Arrived at the top, he 
put her down, and drawing her arm again within 
his own, they resumed their walk. 

" At least, now, there are some things, and 
they are the best things, too, that poverty cannot 
deprive us of, Edgar! Oh, Edgar! if it were 
not for " and here she stopped, as if unwilling 
to sadden him uselessly, by an allusion to their 
mutual and irreparable error, and here, too, 
she made a silent resolution never to trouble 
him again with her remorse. 
What were you saying, love ?" 
" 1 say, Edgar, that the wealth, ease, and 
luxury which we have lost, are nothing in com- 
parison to the blessings that yet remain to us. 
Come ! can we count them up ? Youth, health, 
hope, intelligence and good looks, (let us be 
frank with each other,) and our mutual love ; 
that to begin with ! Toon our little house, small 
and rude as it is, is alone, ia on the ridge, where 
the air is so light and pure ! and the water so 
crystal clear and cold ! I do not know whether 
it is because my lungs are xtreme!y delicate 
and sensitive, or not, but 1 fin ' a ireat differ- 
ence between valley air and mountain air ; I 
find mountain air so -at he ! no light, 

thin, dry and inflating f In valley uir, I oetect a 
humidity and heaviness, even in dry weather. I 



always .el* so light, and elastic, and cheerful on 
The mountains ! in comparison to what I felt in 
the valley. I always said that I had rather live 
in a plain house on the mountain, than a fine 
one in the valley. And then, too, I love the 
grand old gray rocks, and the great mountain 
pines t I have a feeling towards them like cat 
I have towards good, wise and strong old folks ! 
a sense of protection, shelter and satety near 
them ! it is fancy, but it is a pleasant n .y, a 
comfortable feeling. So you see, Euaar, you 
couldn't have suited me better than by settling 
on tne ridge 1 always had an instinctive Convic- 
tion that I required mountain air and wate^. to 
make me a strong girl and if it had not been 
for this wound," here she stopped suddenly, again 
reproaching herself that she had been hurried 
into an allusion to her father's violence. 

This was the very first time that she had 
ever hinted the subject, and now she was agi- 
tated at having inadvertently done so But 
Ardenne grew pale, stopped, and while one 
arm passed around her little waist supported 
her, the otoer hand was laid upon the left side 
of her bosom and looking earnestly into her 
face, he inquired, very seriously 

" Winny, dear, tell me, and tell me truth 
this wound of yours ! there is no outward sign 
of its existence remaining but do you feel it 
still?" 

Winny remained silent, her cheek flushed, she 
looked down. 

Tell me, Winny." 
" Edgar !" 

"Nay, dear, you must tell me! It is posi- 
tively necessary that you do, love ! say does 
that wound still continue to hurt you ?" 
"Yes" 

Ardenne became very much agitated ; it was 
with the utmost effort at self-control, that he 
could speak steadily. 
" How ? tell me all about it, my love." 
" Well, then, it is always burning, burning, as 
if a small coal of fire was there it is that 
which flushes up my left cheek so." 
Ardenne suppressed a heavy groan. 
And when you draw a long breath, Winny, 
does it hurt you more ?" 

" Yes ! when I cough, or raise my vojce, or 
draw a long breath, a sharp, burning pain darts 
rom that spot, and scatters all over my chest, 
and flushes up my cheek." 

The suppressed groan now burst forth in 
agony. 

* Don't grieve, Edgar! dear Edgar, don't, 
please don't it is a worse anguish to see you 
grieve ; besides, 1 know how to prevent this 
pain !" 

"How, dear?" 

Bv not taHng a long breath ! except when 
forget myself, or when I cannot help it." 



SHANNONDALE. 



55 



"Oh, my Gad! oh, Winny ! Your father! 
may the lightning of God's wrath scathe " 

" Ha^ji ! hu?h! Edgar," said Winny, closing 
his lips with her little emaciated hand, "my 
poor fa hr.r di 1 not mean it! Let us talk of 
something pleasant our cabin." 

" Rtiih-'r, let us not cover up a misery or a 
danger, Winny, but face it, expose and examine 
it. Let us not attempt any amiable deceptions. 
Love ! let u,s b* open with each other to begin, 
I kno v your thought !" 

"You .o Edgar? you know, then, I strug- 
gle against it, too?" 

" Yrt, dear Winny ! you think thut you bear 
your death. -wound in your bosom !" 

" T try not to think of it and I pray God, 
night and day, to let me live ! and I shall try 
to live for, above all things, I love life f with 
all its trials, how I do love life ! It may not be 
an exalted feeling, but it is my feeling. I shock- 
ed Sina, once, by telling her that I liked earth 
better than heaven ! and so I do ! Young as 1 
am, this old earth seems to me like a dear old 
familiar p!a e, where my life commenced many 
thousand years ago and that I should not like 
to leave it for any new, strange place, even hea- 
ven ! t have al vays felt old yet, no not old 
but as if 1 had lived an infinite past life of 
childhood and youth, 1 remember once I made 
a whole company laugh. They came to cele- 
brate my birth day < Winny is five years old, 
to-day,' said my father. Oh, father! "five 
yea- s old," I am a million of years old, at the 
very least!' said I, and they all laughed." 

Atdenne was watching her with anxiety. 

" Wmny, dear, you are feverish and excited 
you wander away from the subject. Winny, 
for your threatened disease there is no preven- 
tion or cure in the whole pharmacopaeia!" 

"I know it!" 

But, Wmny, there is a remedy in the sim- 
plest elements of nature. I do not mean in ve- 
getables or in minerals that may be naturally 
repugnant to the stomach, for they have a place 
in the pharmacopaeia but in simple elements in 
your constant use, that you cannot do without a 
day. You instinctively thought of them, love." 

" Air and water !" 

" Yes, dear, pure air, pure water, rationally 
used, are the great agents in the prevention and 
cure of disease. I know and have faith in the 
principle, and with the blessing of the Lord, 
Winny, you shall live!" 

The last words brought them to a small, old 
clearing among the stunted pine trees, upon the 
very summit of the mountain, called Pine Cliffs. 
In the centre of this clearing, and enclosed by a 
low stone wall, stood an old but substantial 
building, of gray rock, surmounted by a steep 
roof. Pine Cliffs, as the place and the house 



was called, had been built, it was supposed, by 
the first Virginian Summerfield, as an occasional 
hunting lodge. But as of late years that portion 
of their immense landed property had been sold 
by the Surmnerfields, and as the present proprie- 
tor, Colonel Danger field, had a much nan .sorrier 
hunting seat, furnished with all the most splen- 
did appointments of the chase, this rude, strong 
lodge was suffered to go into disuse, and for 
many, many years, it had been left uuten nie-1, 
except, perhaps, when a bear, a wolf, or a wild- 
cat made it a temporary winter shelter. The 
reason of its being left so to solitude and to the 
work of the elements, was obvious its extreme 
height and barren soil. Ardenne took it, because 
he had only the choice between that, a handsome 
seat in the valley, the rent of which h could 
never expect to pay, or a squalid hoase in Har- 
per's Ferry ; and Winny had said 

" Anywhere ! let us go anywhere where it 
is clean, and fresh, and cheap." 

As they reached the spot, Ardenne led Winny 
to the stile, and helping her over, said 

"This is our home, Winny turn, Winny! 
and observe the prospect from this spot." 

And Winny, still leaning on his arm, turned 
to let her wondering and admiring eye rove over 
the whole great valley of the Shenandoah, rolled 
out like an immense map before them. At many 
hundred feet below and before them glided the 
undulating river, glittering and flashing like an 
enormous diamond serpent across the river, to 
the right, where it swept around in the shape of 
a horse shoe, stood the old murky building of 
Red-Stona Hall to the left, many miles down, 
lay, between two hills, sloping to the river, Oak 
Grove and Hall, with its distant quarters gleam- 
ing through the trees. As her eyes fell for the 
first time for two months upon her home, a 
spasm seized her heart, but she said nothing. 
Still many miles below that towered Mount 
Eyrie, the magnificent hunting-seat of Colonel 
Dangerfield, with its chimneys in the clouds. 

"It is a magnificent view I" said Winny, and 
then they went into the house. 

They entered at once through the front door 
into the common room, or parlor, perhaps we 
may call it. It was furnished very plainly even 
for a country house, although Ardenne had laid 
at least half his little fortune in getting it clean- 
ed and fitted up. A rag carpet, a half-dozen 
flag-bottom chairs, country made, an oak table, 
a corner cupboard with glass doors, tilled with a 
set of common white delf-ware, upon one side 
of the wide chimney, a small clock .on a trian- 
gular shelf in the opposite corner with a com- 
mon rug, and small brass andirons; afe-vbook 
shelves over the chimney-piece, and green paper 
blinds at the windows, completed the simple fur- 
j niture of their sitting-room. But a pleasant, ye 
j and a prinful surprise awaited Wmny then a 
bright fire was glo wing in the ch mney the tea- 



56 

kettle was boiling over the blaze ; and a litt'e 
white tea-pot and a covered plate of buttered 
to **t i n -r on the hearth In the middle of the 
floor stood tb^ table, covered with a coarse but 
clean, white cloth, and set out uith the service 
of wh te tea-cups, and sauce-a, and plates. Ar- 
denn* looked as much surprised as Winny did at 
this unexpectedly warm an i home like welcome 
bur "fore they had time to make a comment, 
old Nerve entered from t h e back door, and com- 
ing uo towards Wiuny burst out crying and held 
out her arms. 

Come, come, aunty ! come, my good soul, 
control yourself, don't agitate your young mis- 
trees, she. is very weak from recent illness," 
said Ardenne, drawing Winny away, and forcing 
her to sit down in one of the chairs. 

" On, T knows it sir! 1 knows, Maree Edgar! 
and j-^s this minute I sweared I wouldn't cry, nor 
do a thin* to Rturve her! but soon as I seed her, 
I couldn't help of it 'cause you see I nussed her 
at my own breas', Marse Ed*ar ! and loves her 
as if s V wur my own chile, 'deed 1 don't know 
the deft urtce ! an' when I 'sees what she done 
fotch herself to it it it a'mos' breaks my 
heart !" sobbed the old woman. 

" You must not talk that way, Aunt Nerve. 
I shou'd be entirely contented if grandmother 
were well, aud father reconciled how is my 
dear grandmother, Nerve ?" 

"Yei! you'd a better o thought o' 'dear 
grandmother* when you runned away and left 
her! and broked her poor ole heart an' fotch a 
'sgrace on top o' we-dem! Oh! my blessed 
hebenly Marster, has I fotch you up in the fear 
ob the debil all your life to see you fetch your- 
self to this here, Winny Darlin' !" 

"Come! come! no more of this, Nerve! I 
eanno' " said Ardenne, sternly 

" Let her alone ! she is honest she only means 
to reproach me with disobedience." 

"No I didn't, Miss Winny ! please my heben- 
ly 'Deemer I didn't mean to say a word to eturve 
your min', chile, but when 1 sees what you have 
fotch yourself to a heavin' of yourself away 
on" 

" Nerve ! be silent this moment ! Aunt Nerve ! 
Edgar ! do forgive her, she is a poor foolish old 
body!" 

"Oh! my 'Vine Marster! jis hear how she 
talks o' her spongers in baptism! 'ole foolish 
body !' arter all the pains I've takin' with her a 
teachin' of h*r her duty every night, reg'lar as 
the ni*M come !" 

"N r vef reoroach me as much as you please. 
tor your care of me has given you a sort of right 
to scold, but confine your reproaches to me. And 
uow tHl me how is grandmother ?" 

" Don't a*k me, Miss Winny! ole madam is 
as bad as ever the can be !" 

"Oa no! not worse again!" 



I N-no ! purty much the same ! always creepin* 
; about the room, holdin' on to things like an on- 
I easy speerit and always a-moanin' arter you!" 

Ardenne seeing Winny 's face bathed in tears, 
said, in a low voice to Nerve, 

" You pretend to love that child, and yet see 
how you torture her," and Nerve at last was 
smitten with compunction, and said, 

" Hush, Miss Winny ! taint no use to take on ! 
You cant ondoe what you've done to save your 
precious life, indeed you can't ! please my heben- 
ly Jesus you can't, chile ! Let me take off your 
bonnet, honey ! tea's ready. I come up here all 
the way from Oak Grove to get tea ready for 
you, so as my baby shouldn't come, first eve- 
nin', to a cold home and empty house !" 

" But how did you know about our plans, 
aunty ?" inquired Ardenne. 

" Why you see, sir, 1 'quires of every one 
sees from Harper's Ferry 'bout my gall, cause 
you see, Marse Edgar, I missed her, an' the 
Bible say a 'otnan never forgets her nussin chile 
so / couldn't, which proves the Bible to be 
true ! so when Billy Smilie, the tavern keeper's 
son, at Harper's Ferry, fetches home the pony, 
I 'quired arter Miss Winny, an' he telled me how 
you had rented an' fixed up Pine Cliffs, an' was 
a goin there this evenin', so first 1 thought ' good 
Lord he gwine carry her to de debil's icy 
peak?' an' then I thought I'd come here dis 
evenin' an' make all warm for her cause you 
see, Marse Edgar, I nussed her " 

And while she talked the old woman went on 
arranging the table, filled up the tea-pot, set it 
on the waiter, put on the plate of toast and set 
two chairs to the table, and as Edgar led Winny 
to the head of the table, old Nerve took her place 
at the back, as she had been accustomed to stand 
at the back of her master's chair at the head of 
the table at Oak Grove. After supper Nerve 
took the tea things out and washed them up and 
replaced them in the cupboard. Then, as it was 
growing dark, she closed the shutters, let down 
the paper blinds, mended the fire, lighted a can- 
dle and placed it on the table between Winny 
and Edgar, and then said, 

" Now, Miss Winny, honey ! it's time fur me 
to be a-walkin', but 'fore I go jes you tell me 
wh* you' an' Marse Edgar s'lled clothe* is, so I 
may get 'em an' take 'em home to wash and 
iron 'em I bring 'em back to morrow, cause 
you see, honey, I gwine come up here every day 
an' do for you 'deed I am ! don't care what ole 
marster say! he needn't know everything!" 

" No, Nerve ! that must not he ! Father would 
not consent to any such thing as your coming 
here or doing anything for us if he knew it, and 
you must do nothing without his knowledge!" 

" Now. Misa Winny, see h*re ! you think I 
xuch a darned etarnal fool as to tear my frock off 
my back 'bout ole marster's 'frnal nonsense ? 



SHANNONDALE. 



57 



don 



no indeed! I gwine come see arter my 
chile !" 

"No, Nerve, you must not! we are much 
obliged to you. Winny feels your kindness, but 
you must not offend Squire Darling by coming 
here without his knowledge and permission" 

"Kikkik-kik! (laughing) You-dem think I 
gwine send my mortal soul to de debil by 'dui- 
ging that forsok ole sinner in his cussed infan- 
nelly whims ? No, Marster ! when I sot out to 
sarve my Jesus, I done broke wid Sam, an* all 
his child'ea. An* I gwine see arter my chile, 
else how I spect my hebenly Marster see arter 
me?" 

"Please don't speak of my father so, though, 
Aunt Nerve, but tell me how he is and who 
mixes his toddy every day ?" 

"Miss Sina Hinton does." 

"God bless Sinai tell her I say so, Nerve." 

"Dunno as I shall! 'fore my hebenly Jesus 1 
*t know what to make o' that there young 
gall ! I don't indeed ! there ain't one soul on the 
yeth can do a singly thing with ole marster 
'cept 'tis she an' she ! she can twis' him right 
roun' and roun' her finger same as you win' a 
string! what a darned etarnal fool a young 
'oman can make out'n an ole sinner, L pray me 
blessed Lord! Wnen Miss Sina's long o' him, 
he haves like a bornned simpleton! 1 'dare I 
never see sich a sappy ole noodle in all my days! 
It makes me right down sorry to see a gemman 
like him heave his senses away so! and then ef 
my lady happins to go to chapel, or to Red- 
Stone Hall, case you see she's very thick 'long o 
Miss Summerfield, too, ef he ain't like anybody 
crazy ! does nothin' 'tall from mornin* tell night 
but run up an' down the house a swearin' at the 
niggers and a kickin' of the cats an' dogs poor 
innocent dumb creeturs! 'deed, I gwine get a 
mass said for the 'pose of his soul ! stands more 
in need of it 'an any soul in purgatory as I knows 
of! I gwine sprinkle him with holy water first 
time I ever catches him asleep !" 

Soon after this the old woman took her leave, 
and Winny rousing herself from deep thought, 
said, 

" Edgar ! if it were possible for Sina to like 
my father well enough, I could wish him to marry 
hei ! She would console him for the loss of me ! 
She would bring his declining years great com- 
fort!" 

CHAPTER XVL 

LABOR, HOPE AND PATIENCE. 

"Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing 
Each day shall see some task begun, 

Each evening see it close, 
Something attempted something done, 

Shall win a night's repose." 

Whether it was from the fatigue of her walk, 






or that tine coldness of the mountain air %&>>, as 
yet, too grea' a stimulant tor her ; 1 know not; 
but that night, their first at home, Winny cough- 
ed all night ; and it was near or quite day, when 
she fell into a deep sleep of complete exhaus- 
tion. Even then there was no sleep for Ar 
denne Notwithstanding all he spoke, and hoped, 
and tried to believe, an insufferable auxiety 
seized and preyed upon his heart. He raised 
upon his elbow, and watched her by the faint 
morning light. Both her little arms so thin 
and white now ! were thrown up over her head 
upon the pillow, with that helpless abandon so 
piteous to see in the very weak. Even the de- 
ceptive flush had faded from her cheek, and the 
pale yellow locks escaped in her restlessness 
from the little lace cap, clung damp and clammy 
to the cheek and bosom, bathed with the ex- 
hausting " night sweat." Her breathing wa 
distressing, short, quick, interrupted ; or, if a 
long breath was drawn, it was emitted like a 
shuddering sigh, while a spasm of pain would . 
contract the wan face, and a slight convulsion 
agitate the fragile form. As he watched her 
sleep of deep prostration, and her painful and 
spasmodic breathing, Ardenne bitterly reproach- 
ed himself; but with that singular propensity of 
mind that draws us to analogies even in hours 
of extreme distress, he thought of the Urd he 
had caught and crushed in his hand, through hii 
eagerness to possess it; of the flower be had 
plucked which had withered on hi* bo-om, and 
he looked upon this poor, fragile, fading human 
flower, rudely torn from the parent st-m and 
dying on its bed ; and he groaned he groaned 
so that had her sleep been other than the pro- 
found lethargy of prostrated weakness it roust 
have awakened her. 

He arose, and opening a window at some dis 
tance from the bed, to let in the cool, clear 
morning air. he dressed himself and w<-jit down 
stairs, leaving her still asleep. He opened the 
shutters of their parlor or kitchen, as >ou will, 
for it served for both and began to make a 
fire. Leaving it blazing and crarklin;;, he took 
a pail and went to the spring, an<V returnirg, 
filled the tea-kettle, and set it over the fire. 

Ardenne knew more of domestic economy than 
Winny. The only child of a youthful and wi- 
dowed mother, he had received the education 
both of a girl and a boy, And, by the way, I 
have noticed that by far the most amiable, the 
most considerate, the most gentle and sympa- 
thetic men, where women are concerned, are 
those brought up from infancy to manhood by 
widowed motheTs. I suppose the reason is 
plain enough -the early chastening of sorrow, 
perhaps ea^ly acquaintance with privation, 
toil and disappointment, and, above all, early 
and intimate acquaintance with women's pecu- 
liar trials. The Angel of Sorrow does not pre- 



SHAN NO NDALE. 



side over a more beautiful sight than that of a 
youthtul widow and her little son. The mother 
almost as much of a cbild as the infant the in- 
fant almost as thoughtful as the mother. The i 
widow's pensive brow has sobered the orphan, 
and he ha^ left his sports, and stands by her with 
a grave face her comfort, confidant and coun- 
sellor, deeply interested in all her dopes and 
fears, thoughtful of all their domestic interests 
her playmate and her prime minister her 
boy and girl at once for he " helps mother" in 
all things. He thinks himself quite enough of 
a man to bring water and wood, and not too 
much of a man to do any thing a girl might do, 
if " mother" s'ands in need of such assistance. 
And in many other and more complex matters 
he is more efficient at ten years old than a young 
man of twenty, who has hung upon his father 
all his hfe. 

* Ardenne had made the coffee when the door 
noi-elofesly opened, and Winny appeared, looking 
wan and weak, but very lovely and loving, in 
her plain white wrapper and her golden curls. 

" I overslept myself, Edgar ; indeed I am very 
sorry and very much ashamed forgive me, 
Edgar ; and I will try not to be so worthless to- 
morrow," she said, with a gentle embarrass- 
ment, as she approached the table. 

Ardenne set down the coffee pot, and meeting 
her, folded her to his bosom 

" My pale, morning star ! how are you, j 
Winuy ?" 

" I am well very well only tired." 

"Tired, love?" 

"Yes, tired, Edgar it is so strange! sleeping 
tires me so that I wake up not refreshed but ; 
prostrated. It seems as if I slept hard, or fast, < 
or laboriously as if while I slept so heavily, an | 
exhausting process of absorption and evaporation \ 
had been going on, that leaves ms lighter, thin- ! 
ner, and much weaker than when I went to j 
sleep. It is not pain, or illnesp of any sort ; so 
you must not look so serious, Edgar! it is only 
n etrarfge fatigue." 

Winny, my love, you should not have risen 
so soon ; you should have lain longer." 

Oh, Edgar ; not for the world. Do you think 
now that I am such a lazy, good for-nothing girl, 
as to takf advantage of your goodness, and shift 
all my duties upon you!" 

"Bu% my love, you err you are not able 
now to do anything, and this is no labor to me," 
he said, very gently. 

She threw herself into his arms, and clasping 
him tightlv, said, 

"On, E<1gar; you have such a good heart 
such a good, good heart ! I wonder where you 
got it ! -ureiy there never was but one other such 
agoo'1 heart, and that I broke! Oh Edgar; do not 
fill my h p nri 'nil .if love and jo as to drown 
every thought of penitence for that sin! Oh, 



Edgar!" she exclaimed, passionately clinging to 
him, " do you know how muc.'i I love you ? do 
you know how hdppv beyon-i '-xpression you 
make me? I shall not die! 1 cannot die! I 
wonder how any on< j who IOVKS can die ! Love 
such love as I b.-ar you m^'hinks is immor- 
tality; or, if I could die, in the midst, of all my 
sin and trouble, it -vould be with ex-'es^ of hap- 
pine^e because vou love me, Edgar!" 

Ardenne did not reply to this. He wished to 
soothe and quiet her, and he only held tier still 
and smoothed her hair. Presently she sat down. 
Alter breakfast was over, Winny gathered the 
cups and saucers together, and said, 

" Now I wish to wash them up ; but I wonder 
wnat Nerve did with the towel?" 

Ardenne smiled at her artless awkwardness, 
and going to the corner cupboard, drew out a 
draw at the bottom, and handed her one. 

' And now I shall know wh-re to find them, 
Edgar; and you need net take that trouble again." 

After breakfast was cleared, they drew to the 
fire the table still between th-m. 

" 1 am about to put an advertisement in the 
paper, Winrfy, for a situation as teacher in this 
county, since you are unwilling to leave it, dear," 
at d accordingly, while Winny leaned upon her 
elbow looking at him, he penned the following 
notice : 

" A gentleman, graduate of the University of 
Virginia, will be pleased to be engag d as Prin- 
cipal of a small, select, Classical an-.' Mathema- 
tical School Assistant Master in a larger Aca- 
demy or visiting tutor in a pdvate family. A 
situation in this county would be preferred. 
Satisfactory testimonials can be produced, and 
prompt attention will be paid to ay communi- 
cation addressed to E. A,, Harper's Ferry, Va." 

Having finished this " Now, Winny," he 
said, "I am going down to Charl-scown to 
put this in io there any thing I can do for you 
there, Winny?" 

Winny removed from her n*ck a cro&s of gold, 
and holding it towards him, said, 

' Yes, Edgar ; 1 want you to dispose of this 
for me. Father has not sent my trunks, you 
know, and you will remember tnat I have no- 
thing now but what 1 wore when I l*-ft home 
that is, a blue riding habit, anrt this thin, Swiss 
muslin that I wore under it net> -r of them 
proper to wear when engaged in house- work. 
The changes, Hettie Smilie loaned me when I 
was sick at tier father'n house, are of cource left 
there, and BO I am in a straight. Take the 
money for the sale of the cr< ss, Kd- r .trui give 
it to Hettie, ani ask her to ouy me i is put 
down on ttus list," said Winny, humling htm a 
little pap 

!{ But, Wmny, keep your cross lov- ! it is a 
sarred relic, and we are not at that straight 
yet." 



SHANNONDALE. 
are more sacred than unproductive 



"Uses 
relics 

" Well, Winny, you are right, but the uses' 
are not urgent now, keep your cross until they 
are." 

And saying this, and promising to return by 
noo- Ardenne left the house. 

Wrmy occupied the time of his absence with 
looking through her new home, and finding out 
where everything was placed. 

While waiting the result of his adverisement, 
Ardenne was not idle. He would rise in the 
morning, and while Winny was preparing their 
simple breakfast, he would go out upon the 
mountain with his gun, and return with a brace 
of wild fowl. All the forenoon he would read 
law, seated at a table before the window 
of their sitting-room, ^hile Winny sewed by 
his side In the afternoon he took an axe and 
went to the pine forest and cut woo : to pile 
up for winter use. Later he would take his 
angling-rod and go down to the banks of the She- 
nandoah to fish, and return with a fine lot. His 
hopes the rirst week were very high 

" After all,, dear Winny, if you were not the 
spoil ed child of wealth and luxury, this half 
savage life would not be amiss !" 

" Oh ! 1 should like it oi all things, if my dear- 
est grandmother were well, my father recon- 
ciled and I could only get rid of this burning 
pang in my left chest!" 

Every mail day Ardenne would go down to 
Harper's Ferry, but in vain No " communi- 
cation addressed to E. A , Harper's Ferry, Vir- 
ginia," was there to claim the promised "prompt 
attention." And at the end of the second week 
he began to grow very anxious. He kept at 
work, however, sayi-ng, cheerfully, to Winny 

" There is always something to be done, my 
dear Winny, and I have observed through life 
that people waste more time in waiting the 
result of future contingencies than in any other 
manner." 

Ardenne had laid aside from his small store, 
a sum of money to pay the bills of the physician 
and the tavern-keeper. The third week passed 
and Ardenne received no answer to his advertise- 
ment Then he withdrew it, substituting an- 
other without restriction as to place This was 
abo unsuccessful. Next he advertised for a 
situation "as clerk in a lawyer's office - private 
secretary to a gentleman, or brok-ke*per in a 
store in vain! Those who have no necessity 
for labor, or who find employment suffi ient to 
supply their wants, have no id*- a oi the Bearing 
tnxiety ot o/ie seeking work from week to week 
and finding none while experses are ^oii.g on, 
or a family is suffering Ardenne wa* sick at 
heart everything seemed at a stand -till the 
WOTM to he ?ttionary A araveyai" 1 so>t of 
q e n*ss seemed to -e en ove a!' th- en<- t 
leasi. to tarn wno appeared to oe use ess a- \ 



59 

needless to society; still they continued to do 
" whatever" their hands found " to < o " 

" For at least, Winny, here is an opportunity 
of putting his place in complete order," eaid 
Aidenne, and between the times of his reading 
law, he would work at making a woo')-hou-> ad- 
joining the cottage and filling it with wood rrnoy 
cut. Winny, on her part, with the assistance a .d 
instruction of Hettie Smilie, the innkeeper's 
daughter, had made up her own plain dresses and 
put Ardenne's wardrobe, which was n threat 
disarray, into complete order. Then Hettie said 
to her, 

" If I were you, Mrs. Ardenne " 

"Call me Winny, Hettie." 

"1 always forget to if I were you 1 would 
put up some preserves for winter use." 

" But they are expensive luxuries and we do 
not need them." 

" Yes ! they are expensive luxuries if you put 
them up with double refined loaf sugar pound 
for pound, like your grandmother used to bu 
suppose you get f e coarse biown su^ar, and 
clarify it yourself, and put up some plums and 
grapes that will be cheap, and you will find 
that often in the winter, when you are not able 
to get a regular dinner, a cup of rea and bread 
and butter, with a saucer of preserves, will *o 
very well. So, Mrs. Ardenne, we will go if you 
please into the forest to-morrow with two bas- 
kets and Bather some wild grapes, and wild 
p urns aiso, if any are yet to be found and next 
day i will show you how to put; them up, so as 
it will cost almost nothing but the work." 

A' d so accordingly they did. 

Hettie remained a week with Winny, and 
then W.llie Smiue, her cousin, came for her. 
Wi lie had something in a bag on one side of his 
saddle, which he brought in and set; upon the 
floor and while Hettie was getting her bonnet, 
Willie, with many blushes, opened the bag and 
drew forth a, stone jar for putting Vip preserves, 
and holding it up, he stammered 

* I was along by Mr. What-his-name's store 
fo-day, and saw this here, and I thought it was 
aurty, and so I bought it, like a great many things 
I don't want, and so and so " 

' Oh, hush, Willie, your hypocrisies are as 
Coarse and as easily seen through as a wicker 
chicken-coop ! Mrs. Ardenne, he wants to make 
you a present of a blue stone jar, and he does not 
kr ow how to do it dear Mrs. Ardenne, do take 
it from him, poor fellow, for with all his rude- 
ness, he is so sensitive, that he will never get 
over it if you hurt his feelings by refusing/' ad- 
deri Hettie, in a low voice unheard by her cousin, 
who blushing purple, had set the jar down in a 
trepidation. 

" Is this for me ?" asked Winny, taking it up 
a;-d locking at Willie 

" Ves. Mi** ma'am!" exploded Willie. 

It ia a nice jar indeed ! and will be very use- 



ou 

ful to me. I want'd just such a one and i am 
lure I am very much obliged to you, Mr. Smiiie," 
aid W;nny, r.olding up the j-tr. 

^oou atter, Willie Smilia, taking Hettie up on 
the h *H ht-hin-1 him, set out for home. That 
good- hea -ted, simple-minded Smilie family ap- 
pt-a;ed to be the only friends Ardenne and Win- 
ny hud lett 'n th world. Not one of tier former 
friend" ha 1 the teen since her marriage. Indeed 
their n j t>lect was BO complete, and seemed so 
cruel, that but lor the timple goodness of the 
Smiles, ihe hearts of these >oun* pe >ple must 
have grown sour, bitter and misanthropical to- 
wards all the world. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

WINNY'S REALITIES. 

Ah whither now are fled 

Those dream* of greatness? Those u^olid hopes 
Of happi. e?s 7 Tho.-e longings a'ter fame? 
Tho-e restless cares? Tho=e busy, bustling days? 
Tho>e nay spent, festive nights 7 Those veering 

thoughts 

Lost between good and ill that made thy life 
All now are vanished virtue sole survives 
Immoral, never-failing friend to man, 
Thy guide to happiness on high. Thompson. 

1 said the Smilies seemed to bie their only 
friends that the rest of the world seemed to 
have forgotten them. It was not so exactly. 
One afternoon, about the first of November, 
when the weather was already cool upon those 
bleak heights, Winny having mended her fire, 
and hung on the kettle for tea, sat knitting be- 
fore it, and waiting for the return of Edgar, who 
was out on the rocks with his gun. Suddenly 
she heard a horse gallop up, and pause before 
the door ; and in another instant the door fiVw 
open, and she was in the arms of Harriette Joy! 

" Df ar, dar Winny, how are you ?" 

Dearest Harriette !" 

" On, Winny, I am so glad to see you !" 

" Dear Harriette, a hundred thousand thanks 
for coming 1" were the exclamations of the two 
young ladies, as they embraced each other, 
fondly. 

Jit dotvn Harriette, and let me take your 
cap a whip." 

"How is Edgar) Winny?" 

tt Well but care-worn." 

" And who is wi N you any one besides Ed- 
gat ?" ahk-d Harry, taking off and handing her 
cap, gloves, etc., to hex friend 

No no one but Edgar," replied Winny, 
laying them on a bed in the adjoining cham- 
ber. 

" What ! you do not eay that you have no 
servant who waits upon you ?" 

" Edgar ! and 7 wait upon him, also," smiled 
Winny. But in a motnent the smile vanished 



and drawing a chair close by the side of Har- 
riette, she said "Now, Harry, tell me about 
my dear grandmother I never hear from her 
how is she ?" 

" Dear Winny, her life and health seem to 
be stationary there has been no change tor 
the better or the worse for two montns 
" But her state? her state ? what is it?* 
Harriette then briefly described to Winny the 
condition of the old lady as the reader knows it 
to have been. 

Winny covered her face with her hands, and 
wept aloud, and ' 

/ did it ! / did it ! In return for all her 
tenderness and care all her self-sacrificing, 
disinterested love for me. / have reduced her 
to a state worse than death !" 

" No, Winey, it was not your work ; don't 
weep so bitterly ; you have enough to trouble 
you besides that, poor girl!" 

" Do not pity me ! 1 do not merit it ! I do 
not suffer at all ! I never have complained ! I 
never will complain ! If 1 were to suffer very 
much, it would be right ! Oh, I am worse than 
a matricide 1" exclaimed Winny, between the 
agonizing sobs that convulsed her whole 
frame. 

Her extreme remorse her anguish, melted, 
while it alarmed Harriette. She caressed her 
she tried to soothe her, but Winny repulsed her, 
passionately refusing to be comforted, passion- 
ately demanding to suffer and to expiate ! Har- 
riette sat looking at her, patiently waiting until 
the storm should abate ; meantime, unno-:ed by 
Winny, the tea-kettle boiled over, and Hamette 
got up and made the tea ; then coolly resuming 
her seat by the side of Winny > she said, 

" Now, you have worn yo rself out by weep- 
ing,- now will you listen to reason 1 for there 
is no reason in your remorse, it is as inordinate 
&s any other unsanctified passion. Now listen to 
me, Winny! your dear grandmother herself 
never blames you ; never names you, but with 
love, with prayer for your welfare, with bless- 
ing." 

< ; Ah, yes! yes! but does that make me Us* 
guihy ? does not it make me more so ? The 
Saviour on the cross prayed for and blessed Hii 
murderers did thatm&be th<>m less guilty?" 

"Yes! yes! it did that love that pray i 
that blessing, had redeeming potoer, or it was 
worthless! But, Winny, dear, don't inteirupt 
me again, I wish to tell you taat it was not your 
elopement, but the shock and terror of your fa- 
ther's frantic violence and furious threats, and 
the dread of its effects upon you. ard upon him- 
self, acting upon her feeble frame, that so sud- 
d>rily overthrew her Wtnny, they call me a 
mad-cap, but 1 have got good sense! and I say 
to \ou, do not Ivt y ur remorse make you faith 
less to your present duties that would be wors 
than useless." 



SHANNONDALE. 



61 



Winny sobbed herself quiet, and then said 

"My father 'how is he V 

'Dear child! grief don't kill whom anger 
keeps alivp. The squire is well, only suffering 
from a Sina mania." 

Nerve told me something of that." 

" Yes it is just so when love or fever seizes 
a far old sinner, it is extremely apt to go ex- 
tremely hard with him. I b^g your pardon for 
speaking so, Winny, but the fact is, you know 
I rather likefi your father myself, so that 1 am 
a little mad, and a good deal jealous, at being 
overlooked for the sake of an unprincipled and 
meretricious girl like Miss Hilton!" 

For Heaven's sake, Harriette ! don't talk so 
of Sina!" 

Taere it is again ! I tell you that those are 
my settled convictions of Mi$s Sina Hint on, and 
you will arrive at the same conclusions in the 
end, 1 tell these things to Mr*. Sumtnerfield. 
but she turns a deaf ear to me the truth is, 
because I have overflowing spirits, and exu- 
berant life, and a jesting way of delivering my 
oracles, people despise them. I will try to 
grxnv serious, if it be only to be listened to." 

" And Aunt Summerfield and Imcg-^ne why, 
then., do they not send me a kind word, or 
line ? it would come to me grateful as rain to 
the parched desert," said W;nny Is it that 
my gentle Aun^ Summerfkid and my Cousin 
Imugene,, my sweet cousin, with her celestial 
serenity, cherish unkind feelings towards me?' 

{; No, Winny they do not but Mrs. Sum- 
merfield feels, perhaps too keenly, the situa- 
tion of her mother associates you too painfully 
with the subject. Then you know, with all her 
gentleness, Mrs Summerfield has very rigid 
ideas of filial duty. I believe that she feels for 
you a great deal, but that she considers you as 
undergoing a penalty for error a penalty with 
which she has no right to interfere, and which 
she has no right to alleviate! As for Imogene 
I do not know what to make of that lady ! 
She is so grave. I was over there yesterday, 
and as she swept through the room, she paused, 
and looking at me with her slowly lighting 
eyes you know that ppculiar expression as if 
her soul were returning from a long journey, 
she said 

<Do you ever see or hear of my cousin, 
Mrs Ardenne ?' 

<No, replied I. 

< Tou have never visited her since her mar- 
riage ?' 

* Never.' 

< V - von were friends.' 
Thick as pickpockets only Winny neve\ 
took me into her confidence in the affair of her 
marriage.' 

< Why have you not been to see her, then ?' 

< First, because she never invited me, of 

coarse second, because Pine Cliffs is fifteen 



miles from Sacred Heart, over the worst road 
on earth, and I have no way of getting there- 
for Uncle Burleigh has sold my pallrey, and put 
the money in the poor-purse he ought to have 
put it in our own, for I don't know a poorer 
purse than ours.' 

" Then I presume if you could reach her, you 
would like to see Mrs. Ardenne ?' 

" 'Shouldn't I like to se Winny ?' 

"<ln that case, I will give orders that a pal- 
frey be taken over to Sacred Heart, to remain 
there for your ue, as long as shall be agreeable 
good-morning,' and with a quiet, imperial, 
half-abstracted air, she passed from the room ; 
so that you see, Winny, I owe the pleasure of 
this visit to Miss Summerfield, at last." 

" How I should love my cousin, if she would 
only let me I" 

There is something so strange about Miss 
Summerfield a beautiful solemnity of brow, as 
of one who walking in the light of a high reve- 
rence inspires the same feeling in others. But 
Winny, dear, I bring you a message from Miss 
Mattie Smilie ; she says she thinks that the air 
of the valley will now be a beneficial change for 
you, and she wants you to come and stay a week 
with her." 

" That is so kind in her; they are the sweetest 
family, those dear Smilies ; tell her that whether 
I come or not, 1 shall feel very grateful for her 
goodness. Here comes Edgar." 

As Ardenne came in, and not seeing their visi- 
tor, kissed Winny, Harriette jumped up and ex- 
claimed, "Me, too, Edgar! you are on my kis- 
sing list now !" 

"And pray how 'long is the said list, Miss 
Harry, that one may know the extent of the 
compliment ?" 

" Don't speer questions, Mr. Edgar ! Does the 
extent of the compliment depend upon the length 
of the list ?" 

Don't speer questions, Miss Harry ! No I but 
on the shortness of it." 

Then 1 beg you to feel highly flattered, for 
my kissing list boasts but one name Winny 
Ardenne that is all." 

Then it shall be a variation of that pretty 
name, Miss Harry," smiled Ardenne, as his lips 
lighted swiftly upon her half-laughing, half pout- 
ing ones. "There, Harriette ; now, when ever 
you place another name upon your list, erase 
mine, for then I will never kiss you again," said 
Edgar, very solemnly. 

" Good gracious ! what a severe punishment ! 
I'm glad you told me, because kissing is my be- 
setting amiability, I know ! But just see, now, 
the jealous pride of man ; now, who, pray, is 
likely to be put upon my list ?" 

Not Colonel Dacgerfield ?" 

The whole tide of blood in Harriette's san 

guine body must have swept past her brow to 

ave died it such a deep, purplish crimson, as she 



SHANNONDALE. 



answered, in a low, determined voice, with an 
indignant earnestness, emphatic as uncalled tor, 

' >Vevr ! and now let me alone, tor though I 
talk nonsense sometimes, I have the faculty ot 
comiiii! to my senses again very quick.lv. Winny, 
let me help you out with the table ?" 

Edtjar and Winny seemed very well pleased 
w.tn Harri'-t.te's flash of anger they exchanged 
* ^glances Edgar smiled. The two young ladies 
then set the table, laid the cloth, and put up the 
simple supper item, a saucer of Winny's pre- 
se.ved plums. The small party were unusually 
cheertul. 

- You are going to stay all night wit'h us, Har- 
riette ?" asked Ardenne, as they gathered around 
the fire after supper. 

" Ot course I am, unless that is intended as a 
hint for me to go home." 

" On the contrary, it is only a necessary ques- 
tion, to be answered before 1 proceed to stable 
your horse in the wood-shed; also, the precursor 
to another question, namely, can you remain 
with us a fortnight ?" 

" No, sir." 

"I hope to persuade you, notwithstanding. 
Winny, my dear, to-day 1 received a proposition 
from Mr. Hardinge, to go to Washington City 
and transact some business connected with a 
claim he has against the Gv eminent. He of 
fers to pay my expenses, and remunerate me 
handsomely tor a fortnight's services. So, 
dear Winny, shall I leave you for a fortnight 
and can we persuade Miss Harriette to stay 
here and keep you company during my ab- 
sence?" 

"Oh!" exclaimed Harry, jumping up and 
clapping her hands, with all her short, jetty curls 
shaking; "oh! lam so glad! that just suits- 
like a knile and fork, or the two sides of a pair 
of shears ! 1 am so glad." 

Then you'll stay, Harriette ?" 

Not I ! do you suppose we want to be torn 
up by the wild-cats, or carried off by runaway 
negroes? No, indeed! But Winny shall go 
home with me. I'll stay here to morrow, to 
help her to get ready ! The mild valley air will 
be good for her at this season, and we will keep 
her, two, three weeks or a month, or an indefi- 
nite length of time, with pleasure and when 
you come back, Master Edgar, you shall find 
your 'white rose* blooming fres ly " Harriette 
then with more sobriety, explained the invita- 
tion with which she had been charged, and 
after some debate, it was arranged that Harry 
should stay with them until the third day from 
that, when Winny should return with her to 
Sacred Heart, there to remain during the ab- 
sence of Ardenne. 

Now, Edgar," said Winny, "won't you 
make a fire m Harriette's room it is chilly." 

This done ArHerne rend t- e evening chapter 
in the Bible, and soon after Winny conducted 



Barr-ette into the little adjoining bed-roo'T>, with 
its cot-bed covered with a plain white counterpane 
with its little pine dressing-table covered 
with a '-hue cloth, and adorned with a email 
glass its little pine washstand, and white basin 
and pitcher its two flag- chairs its one large 
window, shaded by a white curtain ; and lastly, 
its fireplace, with little andirons, and a cheer- 
ful blaze. 

How very nice this little room is so tnug 
and home-like already What a nice counter- 
pane and curtains." 

"This is your room whenever you come to 
see us, Harriette it is plain, but I hope you 
like it 

" Oh ! it is sweet." 

" It is very cheaply furnished the whole fur- 
niture did no* cost fifteen dollars." 

"Is tbat possible? ' 

" Yes necessaries are cheap. The cor, Ed- 
gar made himself. Hettie made the case* of the 
mattrass, bolster and pillows, and Edgar stuffed 
them the straw cost nothing. The counter- 
pane you like so well, is nothing but cheap, 
white cotton, and the fringe around it I netted. 
Edgar made the little pine-table and the wash- 
stand ; and Hettie and I made the curtain and 
table- cover; and the two flag-bottom chairs we 
bought from an old free negro, who makes 
them for a living. And Hettie and 1 made this 
little rag-carpet on the floor. 

" It seems to me that this ought to be Hettie's 
room." 

" Oh ! you do not know how much that sweet 
girl has done for us, and been to us a poor sim- 
ple maiden, with nothing but her goodness of 
heart and yet she has been of all the world our 
best friend and greatest benefactor. She has 
labored with us and for us. and taught me all 1 
really know I do love Hettie so dearly. Edgar 
loves her also and we both say that if ever we 
gro^ prosperous, Hettie shall share our pro- 
sperity. 

CHAPTER XVI II. 

THE SACKED HEART COTTAOE. 

Please step in 

And visit roun' an' roun'; 
ThereV naujrht superfluous to gie pain 

Or costly to be foun', 
Ye* a' is clean Allan Rwnsn.y 

Ardenne borrowed two horses to convey him- 
self and his little wife to Sacred Heart, and on the 
morning of the third day they set out it was 
the first ride Winny had had since her mama^e, 
and she enjoved ir vastly. Her spirits rose, and 
for aw- ile all her troubles except the latent , ever 
goawiog remorse were forgotten. It was a bright, 
clear, -1 morning the sky was gloriously bril- 



SHANNONDALE. 



33 



iiant, and the sun blazing with insufferable light. 
The woods rich and gorgeous oeyond compari- 
son in their splendidly variegated autumn colors 
the burning crimson of the oak, the bright 
green of the pipes and cedars, the purple of the 
dog-wood and the golden yellow of th* hickory. 
Winny was a silent worshipper of nature and 
ever when her heart was the most influenced 
her lips were the mutest. They had a long, 
delightful journey before them. Ardenne had 
yielded to Hettie Smilie's solicitation and pro 
mised for Winny that they should stop at the 
ferry and remain until the afternoon. They 
reached that place about eleven o'clock, and 
were received with obstreperous demonstrations 
of joy by Mr. Smilie, who was, poor fellow, as 
usual, slightly elevated with wine. Hettie took 
Winny off immediately to a remote and quiet 
room, and there they dined together. In the 
afternoon the little party resumed their journey, 
and about four o'clock crossed the ridge, and 
began to aescend the little bridle-path leading 
down the side of the mountain to the small and 
sheltered gUn in which the cottage and church 
of Sacred Heart were situated. It was a very 
inviting, a very tempting little place, seen from 
the mountain path, so protected, so shut in by 
high mountains all around, so shady, still, and 
silent ! Summer certainly lingered there unwil- 
ling to depart the grass was still fresh, soft and 
green. Some of the trees still heavy with late 
fruit. Golden pippins, large, light green non- 
pariel, and scarlet apples enlivened the orchard 
grove, while bright yellow October peaches, and 
large, black English peaches, bore down the 
branches of the trees almost to the ground. 
Coming do-vn the mountain path they dismount- 
ed, and leaving the horses, they entered the 
premises by a little gate at the back of the gar- 
den and wal&ed on a grassy path between rows 
of marigold*, red and white crysantheums, 
and other gaudy, late fall flowers This led them 
through a long arbor covered with a grape vine, 
and emerging from it they saw Miss Mattie in 
the covered back porch, very busily engaged in 
tying up branches of fragrant herbs horse-mint, 
sage, balm, tansey, marjoram, &c, She was too 
busy to notice them at first, but when th- y step- 
ped upon ihe porch, she turned around with her 
pleas-ant face ai;d her own smile, as I said before, 
half beatitude half bonhomie, and welcomed Win- 
ny, then Hdrriette, and lastly, and with a scarce- 
ly perceptible shade of reserve, curtsied to Ar- 
denne, us if a nearer approach to familiarity j 
with one of the other sex were unholy as well j 
as forbidden Then she conducted them into the 
priest's parlor a sacred place, shut up general- 
ly, but opened upon this and other rare occa- 
sions. Soon after this, Ardenne, who was obli- 
ged to meet the stage that would pass the ferry 
at six oVIock, took leave. Winny wept- -it was 
weak, but she could not help it. A first separa- 



tion even for a fortnight seems interminabl-- and 
intolerable to a youn/ ".ouple wh c*rir,o',a*yef, 
endure to be apart a day. So vVinny sobt,ed 
heartily as she watched the progress of Aiden- 
ne's horse back up the mountain path an<i con- 
vulsively after it haa disappeared from her Mght. 
Miss Mattie and Harriette tried to console her, 
but in vain. 

"Indeed I know it is foolish, ' she said, "1 
am ashamed of it, but I cannot help it-^ust let 
it pass let me have it all out, and then I *-hall 
be cheerful," and so it followed. And indeed 
I do not know who could have been miserable in 
that clean, cool, quiet, fragrant little home 
with Mattie and her benign smile, her mek, 
serene manners, and her quiet, affectionate mi- 
nistrations, 

Now, honey, I am going to get tea ready 
which do you like best, tea or coffee, hon^ 

Both, Miss Mattie." 

" But which woulri you rather have, honey?" 

" Just which you please, Miss Mattie." 

Tea, Miss Mattie," said Harriette, to shorten 
the colloquy. 

" Well, honey, tell me," she asked, as if de- 
precating r he trouble she was giving to have ner 
questions answered " which now suits >our ap- 
petite best, biscuits or egg-corn-bread, my 
dear?" 

Either, dear Miss Mattie please do not put 
yourself to any trouble you are so good and 
kind any way, but please don't trouble yourself. 
I have a good appetite and can eat anything, es- 
pecially anything of your nice cooking.' 

" Dear child ! my dear child ! it's no trouble 
indeed it ain't it's just as easy to get one thing 
as another, honey, indeed it is, and you may just 
as well have what you would like as not it ain't 
no worry to me at all, I always have to get sup- 
per, you know!' 

'-Dear, Miss Mattie, you are so good to me! 
What makes >ou so good to me I don't deserve 
it!" said Winny, embracing the old lady at 
which Miss Mattie's serenity almost gave way, 
and she almost melted. 

Who could help being good to you, my dear 
child ; but, honey, you did not tell me about the 
egg-corn-bread ?" 

Oh ! yes, I like it very much, Miss Mattie !" 

Well/then, you shall have a nice egg-pone 
Now come in to your little room, my dear child, 
and lie down till supper is ready." 

And the affectionate old lady led Winny into a 
little adjoining bed-room, with white-washed 
walls and bare floor, and two little windows with 
bme paper blinds, and a little bed with a blue 
check counterpane Between t-ie t-vo windows 
it had also a tall, prim little toilet-table without 
a cover, and a small glass, surroumied with tiny 
and cheap colored prints of the Virgr Mart the 
saints, apostles, martyrs, etc And lastK. a 
small fire-place filled with cedar, am' surmounted 



64 

b i mun'lepiece, upon which ^tood r. 

as image of the Virgin and Child Buucdes 
of trajjrant herbs hung drying against the wall, 
filling the air with their aroma. 

" Here now, honey, you can be quiet and rest 
till tea is ready. Let me help you off with your 
things Here is a wrapper to slip on. There 



SH.iNNONDALE. 



Winny and Harriette smiled and exchanged 
glances, fully believing the good old lady to be 
a victim of her own imagination, be th in the 
matter of the ghost, and in the suspicion of the 
holy father's alarm. 

They soon after retired to bed, Harry and 
Winny occupying the same room. And now, 



now lie down. Here is a book to read if you | for the first time, Harry had an opportunity of 
cannot sleep. It is Paradise and the Perye.' j knowing how very ill Winny really was. No 
Would fou like a fire made here ?" sooner had her head touched the piltow, than her 

" No, I thank you, Miss Mattie, not until cough became troublesome. As hours passed, it 
night. It is warm enough." ! grew worse, and Harriette was kept awake all 

" 1 think so, too, honey. Well ! Harry will night by the distressing spasmodic coughing of 



will 

call you when supper is ready, honey," and so 
saying, toe dear old lady left the room. 

Miss Mattie's suppers had a temptation. Her 
humble table was so extremely neat Her table 
cloth so f* curd white," her old-fashioned blue 
china cups and saucers so glistening. Then her tea 
was so good ; her cream so rich ; her bread so 
light ; her butter so sweet and fresh ; and her 
preserves so excellent, and above all her welcome 
was so hearty ; her smile so kindly. It was re- 



her friend. Towards morning, Winny fell into the 
same deep, lethargic sleep, and her head, neck 
and bosom were bathed in the same profuse 
night-sweat. 

" Winny is dying her family must know this! 
something must be done, or she will be dead in 
a few months ! I will speak to Mrs. Summer- 
field ! I will go ta see Squire Darling, and he 
shall hear reason !" said Harry, as she arose in 
the morning, and carefully letting down the 



marked that every one had an appetite at Mat- j window-blinds and closing the doors to keep out 
tie's table. 

When Harry called Winny out to supper, she 
found Father Burleigh returned from his after- 
noon's ride and already in the parlor. He came for- 
ward and welcomed her with much kindness,,nd 
she set down to the sociable little tea-table pre- 
sided over by Miss Mattie, with her meek though 
pleasant smile. Winny noticed that Father Bur- 
leigh had broken very much, had grown appa- 
rently ten years older since she last saw him* His 
manner was grave, abstracted, yet when obser- 
vant of anything going on around him, very kind. 
" Why have you not been to church, Winny?" 
he inquired, affectionately. 

" Because, Father Burleigh, I have no convey- 
ance, and the road is too long to walk." 
" How what ! has not your father hum " 
The old man stopped abruptly and fell into 
thought. Immediately after tea the old priest 
retired to his study, and Miss Mattie, Winny 
and Harry gathered around the fire. Here, for 
the hundredth time, Miss Mattie recounted the 
story of the ghost she had seen, to a new hearer. 
To her it was an unexplained mystery still ; and 
Miss Mattie, who had never been credulous till 
that haunted night, was thenceforth, to the end 
f her life, a devout believer in the reappear- 
ance of disembodied spirits. She concluded her 
account by saying, 

< And if you please to believe me, my dear 
child, when Father Burleigh came in out of the 
graveyard, when that night he went to watch 
for the ghost, he was pale as ashes, and trem- 
bling like he had an ague. I asked him if he 
seen anything, and he grew angry, and forbid 
me ever to so^ak to him about it. and so I nevpr 
mentioned of it a -jam ; but 1 shall always think 



how Father Btirleigh seen something." 



I all noise that might disturb her, she softly left 
the room and Winny to her morning's sleep. 
The house was kept perfectly quiet, and the 
breakfast delayed, so that it was very late be- 
fore Winny awoke, and then she washed and 
dressed herself in haste, and came out, making 
her simple apologies for oversleeping herself. 
Father Burleigh called her to him, and taking 
her wasted hand, looked tenderly, even remorse- 
fully in her wan face, attempted to speak, but 
dropped the hand and turned away again reco- 
vering himself, he led her to the table. 

Winny remained a fortnight at Sacred Heart. 
During this time, she went over to church. She 
had looked forward to this Sunday as to the day 
that would give her a sight of her father, or of 
some member of her Aunt Summerfieid's family. 
Sunday came, and Winny was there, and watch- 
ed each arrival with sickening anxiety, and with- 
out success. Not one member of the Oak Grove 
or the Red-Stoae Hail family appeared. At the 
end of the service, Winny returned to the -cot- 
tage, cast down, and almost broken-spirited. 

They know that I am here, and avoid me," 
she said. 

( Never mind, my dear child. Repent of your 
sins. Hope and trust in the Lord, and all will 
be well I" said the tender-hearted Miss Mattie. 

On the Friday following, Ardenne arrived, and 
on the next day, Saturday, Winny scarcely at 
all improved in health, took an affectionate leave 
of the family at Sacred Heart, and departed with 
Ardenne for their mountain home Miss Mattie 
had filled the saddle bags with the fine black 
English peaches and golden pippins, and pro- 
mised, besides, to send a " cart load" of fruits 
and vegetables from their orchard and garden to 
Pine Cliffs, 



SHANNONDALE. 



65 



CHAPTER XIX. 

DONNA QUIXOTE. 

Thou medley of contraries ! 

We tru*t thee, yet we doubt thee, 
Our darkness and our light; 

Night would be day without thee. 
And day without thee, night. 

Judge Carlton. 

Harriette Joy kept her promise. As soon as 
Winny and Ardenne had departed the next day 
she jumped on her horse and rode over to Red- 
Stone Hall. She found Mrs. and Miss Summer- 
field in the oak-panneled parlor, seated near 
cheerful fire, Mrs. Summerfield engaged in tam- 
bour-work, and Imogene reading aloud to her 
from Fenelon, in the original French. Imogene 
closed her book, and, without rising, bowed 
gravely to their visitor; while Mrs. Summerneld 
left her seat, and advanced to welcome her. 
Harry laid off her hat, and gaily sat down be- 
tween them, and while drawing off her gloves, 
and replying to Mrs. Summerfield's polite in- 
quiries respecting her own and Father Burleigh's 
health, the merry maiden was more than ever 
struck by the deep melancholy, hardening, at 
times, into a severe gravity, that marked Miss 
Summerfield's countenance and demeanor. Her 
very dress seemed only the expression or deve- 
lopement of her inner nature ; it was so grave 
and sad a close-fitting black silk, with a slight 
edge of fine thread lace at the neck and wrists, 
its severe simplicity only relieved by the large, 
glossy, purplish-black ringlets that swept in 
three heavy divisions down her shoulders and 
each side of her bosom to her waist. Imogene 
had closed her book, and still holding her fingers 
between its leaves, she fixed her large still eyes 
earnestly on those of Harry, and inquired, 
slowly, 

" Have you seen Mrs. Ardenne since you were 
here, Harriette ?" 

Yes, Miss Summerneld. 1 went and brought 
her home with me, and she remained at Sacred 
Heart two weeks. She left us this morning." 

She is well ? 

No, Miss Summerfield, very far from it; she 
is in a decline, if I am any judge of the matter," 
said Harriette, and then recounted all she knew 
of Winny's illness, ending by saying that she 
believed Winny must die, if her heart was not 
relieved by a reconciliation with her family, her 
mind from the incessant pressure of anxiety, and 
her delicate frame from the labor and privations 
of her present lot. Imogene listened with a 
grave, set countenance, and made no comment. 

" Have you no influence with Squire Darling, 
Mrs. Summerneld ? Can you not persuade him 
to forgive and receive hie daughter and son-in- 
law?" 



Impossible, Harriette ! I shoul d expose my- 
self to insult in making the attempt. If Mrs. 
Ardenne will leave her husband and promise 
never to see him again, she may be received 
into her father's house, where she must necessa- 
rily lead a life of strict seclusion j those are the* 
only terms of reconciliation." 

Harriette's face flushed with indignation, and 
she remained silent for awhile ; then 

"Have you, Miss Summerfield, no power 
with Squire Darling ?" 

Imogene lifted her heavy lashes, but before 
her slow reply was formed, Mrs. Summerfield 
answered, 

"Miss Summerfield must not expose her self 
to her uncle's violence of temper, Harriette." 

Very well, then," thought Harry j thank 
God I have no false refinement to be' shocked, 
and no false pride to be humbled, though it may 
be false courage that prompts me now to 

" ' Beard the lion in his den, 
The Douglass in his hall;' 

and J will wait on Squire Darling myself." 

This was Harriette's secret resolution, but she 
did not express it. Something of a natural, 
though quiet hauteur in the manners both of the 
elder and the younger lady, ever chilled Har- 
riette into reserve. Soon she took her depar- 
ture, declining Mrs. Summerfield's invitation to 
stay to dinner, and turned her horse's head to- 
wards Oak Grove. 



Is this the Hall ? The nettle buildeth bowers 
Where loathsome toad and beetle black are seen ! 

Are these the chambers ? Fed by darkest showera, 
The slimy worm hath o'er them crawling been! 

Is this the home ? The owlet's dreary cry 

Unto that asking makes a sad reply. Nicoll. 

Nothing could be more dreary than the aspect 
of Oak Grove, as Harriette approached it. Every 
thing about the plantation bore testimony to the 
despairing neglect of its master. It was very 
evident that Squire Darling no longer rode at 
morn and eve all over his estate to see with his 
own eyes that every thing was done properly. 
It was proved that he no longer heeded his favo- 
rite proverb, that, "The master's eye doth 
more work than the servants' hands." Fences 
were broken ; gates down j fields littered ; cattle 
straying ; negroes dozing in the blazing autumn 
sun ; every thing bore marks of indifference and 
neglect. Harriette's spirits fell, oppressed by 
the scene. 

At least, though, this shows that he love* 
ler still ; mourns her absence still ; has no spirit' 
of enterprise without her ! Come, courage I I 
;an do something here ! ' 

And Harry opened the gate that admitted her 
into the large, grove-like yard in the centre of 
which stood the old gray HalL But what a dreary 



66 

change was here! 



SHANNONDALE. 



This .fine, heavily-shaded 



lawn, which it used to be the easy task of 
core of little negro children to keep perfectly 
clean and smooth, free alike from litter, weeds 
or fallen leaves, this lawn was now grown 
thickly up with thistles, drying in the autumn 
un, tall Jamestown weeds, rank with ripe poi- 
4on, and filling all the air with their baleful efflu- 
via, and drifts of dried leaves tbat rattled and 
rustled noisily under her horse's hoofs. As yet 
he had seen not a single soul beyond the lazy 
group of negroes she had left in the field, dozing 
in the hot sun. As she wended her way up the 
grass-grown walk, a large snake started up be- 
fore her horse's hoofs, and glided swiftly away 
A superstitious awe had been slowly gathering 
over Harriette's spirit, and now a shock of fear 
thrilled through her nerves. She looked up at 
the house. The front doors and windows were 
all closed. Cobwebs were stretched across those 
of Winny's deserted rooms ; dried leaves had 
fallen and lodged in them, and the little insect 
called the mason, had built its house of clay in 
the corners of the sills. Deserted, desolate, 
and forlorn ! Harriette had not spirits to go up 
the mi He wed stone steps, and ring the rusty 
bell. She turned her horse's head and trotted 
off towards the Quarters to find Nerve giving 
a fearful glance behind her, as though she dread- 
ed having been seen from the house. The dreary 
and forsaken aspect of the place made Harry's 
nerves tremble as though she were doing some 
wrong, fearing some discovery, and incurring 
some punishment. Harry trotted down the hill 
to the hollow where were situated the Quarters, 
ten little white cabins each side of the street, 
with a larger cabin facing down the line at the 
upper end. This place looked scarcely less lone- 
some than the house. Here in the doors sat 
negro women, dawdling over their patching, or 
old men smokin.g, or old grannies with the woolly 
heads of young negroes between their knees, 
engaged with finger and thumb in a nameless 
work of destruction. Each nodded, or spoke 
respectfully to Miss Harry as she passed them, 
and rode up to Uncle Kill's house. Here she 
jumped off her horse, and, passing the little gate, 
went in. The front door was open, and gave a 
view of Nerve within, seated among baskets of 
apples, and pans and dishes, engaged in cutting 
up fruit for drying. 

" Come in, Miss Harry, chile, come in ! 'xcuse 
me for not gettin' up, 'ca'se my lap's full o' 
parins. Sit down, Miss Harry, honey, sit down ! 
flow's the ole gen'l'man, Father Bully; God 
bless him! Take off your hat, Miss Harry, 
chile, an' lay it down on table. Has you seen 
anything o' my poor baby ? We-dem heerd how 
he was staying long o' you J Is she dere yet ?" 
" She has been staying with us a fortnight, 
tot has now returned home she is in very bad 
health, Nerve." 






Poor baby ! poor, dear chile ! 1 knowea it! 
an' I aint been to see her since that first time, 
cause you see, Miss Harry, when ole marster 
found out how I had been there, he like to a 
split the shingles off o' top o' the house, and 
sweared how he'd sell the fuss niggpr as tuk the 
least notice o' her, far as ever horse an' wind 
could carry them! 'Fore my hebenly Marster, 
he did, honey ! An' he said how he meant to 
starve or freeze the ondutiful gall to her senses, or 
to death, one or the tocher J" 

" I am going to speak to him about Winny, 
Nerve !" 

" I 'vise you not to ! You run your head right 
into a hornet's nest, if you so much as mention 
her name, let alone plead for her ! You better 
let him alone ! he tuk leave o' ll sense an' de- 
cency! he'll 'suit you quick as wink! 'fore 
my hebenly 'Deemer, will he ! You can't do 
nothin' 'tall wid him I He don't do nothin' but 
sit in that there house from mornin' till nightj 
and drink an' swilt, an' every singly thing about 
the place is going to rack and ruin ! Poor ole 
man Kill do the best he can he's oberse#r, you 
know but lor'! he can't do nothin' 'tall with 
the niggers, cause you see, when they 'gleets 
their duty, he t'reatens how he'll 'port them to 
ole marster, but you know, Miss Harry, if ole 
marster don't pay no 'tention to his 'port* ho 
they goin' to min' his t'reats ?" 

" I am sorry to hear he drinks so !" 

"He don't do nothin' 'tall else from mor 
till night, chile !" 

Well ! anyhow, Nerve ; I came here for 
purpose of seeing him, and I intend to see and 
speak to him in Winny's behalf, too!" 

"'Fore my hebenly Marster, he'll 'suit you; 
he will indeed, honey !" 

Which way shall I get in, Nerve ? the front 
part of the house is all shut up." 

Stop, honey I I'll go 'long o' you," said the 
old woman, pushing the apple parings out of her 
lap into an old basket, and preparing to accom- 
pany Harry. 

They left the house, Harry leaving her 'horse 
there, and walked towards the Hall. Nerve 
conducted her in through the back piazza, and 
stopped to ask her whether she would visit " ole 
madam" first, or go into the parlor. Harry de- 
cided to see the invalid, and the old woman led 
the way up stairs, and to the door of Mrs. Dar- 
ing's room. Then the sound of voices made 
Nerve pause, and hold up her finger to Harry. It 
was Sina's voice, in a high key and insolent tone, 
apparently speaking to the old lady. 

" And Nerve shall not come up these stairs 
with her impudent interference, and her awk- 
ward blunders, and her mischiefimaking. If you 
want anything done for you, I'll do it!" 

A low and plaintive reply was made to this 
rude speech, the only word distinguishable being 
Winny." 



SHANNONDALE. 



6? 



You know it is against the orders of Squire 
DarJuig to send any message, or hold any com- 
munication with that young woman, and I am 
here to see his orders enforced " 

u Come, Nerve ! Come ! my blood is boiling f 
my heart will burst f let me in ! it is improper, 
anvhow,to listen and to such insolence as that! 
let me in, Nerve, and stop that indignity, or 1 
shall lose my reason, burst the door open, seize 
that, impudent girl and shake the breath out of 
her body ! Let me in, Nerve ; for 1 do not want 
to forget myself." 

Nerve, with an " 1-told-you-so" look, opened 
the door and followed her into the room. The 
oV lady was sitting in her arm chair, the very 
pu ture of imbecile suffering. Hariettte went ro 
her and spoke very respectfully (purposely omit- 
ting to see Sina.) 

"Oh! bow do you do, my dear? Did you 
know that Winny was gone ?" she inquired, with 
an appealing look of grief. 

" Yes, I know it 1 saw Winny this morning !" 

< Did you ! did you ! Oh, how is Winny f" 

" She was over at our house she sent her love 
to you," replied Harry, evading the question of 
her health. 

" Over to your house ! and did not come to see 
me! does she know, does Winny know that I am 
helpless that I have lost the use of my limbs ?" 

" Yes, Wmny knows it, and grieves about it." 

" Tell her not to grieve ! tell her'wo* to grieve 
tell Winny I do very well! she mustn't grieve 
he mustn't grieve ! you mustn't tell her any- 
thing to make her grieve. I'm sorry now she 
knows I am helpless ; but why don't Winny come 
to see me, then ?" 

She wants to come, but they won't let her.'' 

"Who won't? who won't? It's my house 
9ty jointure house ! and no one has a right to 
prevent her ! she sha,ll come ! tell her so ! tell 
her to come ! Pll see /" said the old lady, the 
spirit of her youth flashing fitfully up. 

Really, Miss Harriette Joy ! I shall be forced 
to request you ro leave the room, if you excite 
Mrs. Darling in this manner!" said Miss Hin- 
ton, coming forward. 

Harry sprang sharply around, confronting the 
girl, and flashed upon her a look of such blight- 
ing scorn and indignation, that the audacity of 
the wily girl nearly wilted under it, and she 
continued more quietly 

" Mrs, Darling cannot bear the least excite- 
ment, and the name of Winny" 

" Mrs Ardenne, I presume you mean," said 
Harry, haughtily. 

" Mrs. Ardenne, then," continued Sina, with 
an imperceptible smile, "is a forbidden name 
in this house !" 

Harry fixed her dark eyes, blazing with insuf- 
ferable light, upon those of Sina Hinton., -met x- 
tending her arm, pointed T o the i'tor, saying, 

" Sina Hinton, leave the room ! I overheard 



your conversation before I entered ! leave the 
room! lest I expose your insolen o M Sum- 
merfield, who will i ompel you to leav ue 
house!" 

Sina Hinton recovered -r momentary quail- 
ing, arid smiling, touched the bell Harry re- 
garded her with as muchsuvp; i>- as iurftgnationj 
and something even 01 admiration. She a.t 
changed very much within the last i-w m me/it*. 
There was a sort of attraction, glamour, witch- 
craft, or what not, about that thin, nerc lace, 
that being neither beauty nor goodues, was 
more fascinating than eitner it was unity, 
power, strength, a diabolical individuality The 
bell was answered by a servant, to whom she 
said, 

" Tell your master that I crave his presence 
for a few moments in this room." 

She spoke with an air of assured authority, 
and the man, bowing with great respect, with- 
drew to obey her. 

" Leave the room, Minerva," was her next 
order. 

And old Nerve, saying to Harriette as she 
passed " Let us go, Miss Harry, for Sam is 
going to be riz here directly !" went out. 

The step ot Squire Darling was heard upon 
the stairs, and Sina turned rier dark, bright 
face, with its stiletto light gleaming out b"- 
tween the wilderness of black, shining ringlets, 
with a fierce smile upon Harriette.. 

The squire entered the room, saving, with a 
maudlin fondness 

What does my lightning-bug what does 
my little fire-fly what does my sprite want 
with me, now ?" 

His face was flushed, his eyes blood-shot, his 
step unsteady, and he sunk heavily in o a chair. 

Harriette saw, and groaned in the spirit. 

"Well, what does my little mustard seed 
want with me, now ?" 

"Send that girl from the house !" 

" That girl ! which girl ?" asked the poor 
man, his inflamed eyes flying around the room, 
and settling on Harriette. Oh ! that's Miss 
Harry ! that's little Nimrod ! musn't send he* 
away I" 

"Then, Squire Darling, I must go," said 
Miss Hinton, a flush rising to !.- brow. 

" You ! you go f oh, never stop ! I'll send 
her off! I'll do anything you tell me to do, 
Sina! tell me to march up before the whole 
congregation up the altar- steps and pull Father 
Burleigh's nose, in the midst 01 the mass ! and 
I'll do it, my queen of lov and beauty ! my so- 
vereign! my goddess ! What am I to do, now? 
put Harry out! oh, yes! Come, Miss Harry, 
you must march! it's ^n ungentlemaniy h g 
to turn you out, I know! but Si commands, 
and Sina must be obeyed ! Com Miss Harry! 
right face! forward! march!" ?-< aimed the 
monomaniac, .i.-'ru > toward Ha itf 



SHANNONDALE. 



63 

H ashing deeply with shame and indignation 
ver :oo proud to resist, Harriette suffered him 
to tak" her arm and lead her to the door, which, 
he closed behind her. 

Poor Harriette ! never was a Donna Quixote 
more completely unhorsed and discomfited ! 
She had fallen, nearly buried under the ruins of 
her castle, and such a castle as it had been ! 
All the way, as Harry had ridden to the Hall, 
she was recollecting Squire Darling as he had 
been before his daughter's elopement brave, j 
frank, g* nerouw, merry, pure, exceedingly lond 
of young skirls, who could wheedle him out of 
anything with a few soft words and smiles; and 
Harrv had pictured herself coaxing, wheedling, 
and caressing him into urbanity and forgiveness, j 
and purchasing Winny's pardon with an infinite j 
number of kisses and coaxes poor Harry ! and j 
now, instead of her safe, affectionate, fatherly 
old gentleman, whom it would be a very merit 
to be tond of, she fiads a fallen and sensual old 
beast, whose very contact was contamination ! 
She could have wept with shame and indigna- 
tion! but then she thought of her Quixotism, 
and as the comic largely preponderated over the 
tragic in her happy composition, ehe laughed 
outright as she exclaimed " Never was Donna 
Quixote so completely discomfited!" Then she 
sought out her horse, which, you remember, she 
had left tied at Nerve's gate. 

The old woman was sitting at her apple-paring 
again when Harrriette came up. 

Well! Miss Harry, honey ! didn't I 'vise you 
not to go ! didn't 1 tell you, you'd get 'suited 
now what you goin' do ?" 

" What am I going to do? I am going straight 
back to Red-Stone Hall, and inform Mrs. Sum- 
merfield of all I have seen and heard that's 
what I am going to do !" 

"Kik! kik! kik! ain't you got enough yet, 
Miss Harry? I tell you Miss Summerfield can't 
do nothin' 'tall 'long o' ole marster. Ole mars- 
ter's his own marster, and Miss Sina's his 
miss'tess ; and Madam Summerfield won't thank 
you for your news." 

I don't care if she don't ! I'll do my duty, 
and bear my testimony ! come what will I I de- 
clare, if I were Edgar Ardenne, I should get out 
a writ of lunacy against this old gentleman, and 
have him confined ! I could swear to his mad- 
ness with a safe conscience ?" 

MISS Harry! I 'vised you for your good this 
morning, an' you would'nt hear to it ! you went 
an' runned your head right into the fire ( Now, 
I 'vises vou again, not to say anything to Miss 
Summerfield ! She can't do nothin' 'tall, honey ; 
an' she won't thank you for your news, cause you 
see no body likes to hear o' the missbehave- 
ment of their own 'lations! now mind I tell 
you! please, my blessed heavenly Marster, 
don't they!" 

But I shall tell Miss Summerfield, that sue 



ought to take her mother home with her, where 
she could be treated with respect and atten- 
tion." 

"'Taint no use, honey! Ole marster ain't 
goin' to 'sent to it ! He keeps ole miss'tess here, 
for a cloak for Miss Sina ! Cause you see, honey, 
ef ole miss'tess warn't here, Miss SID a couldn't 
stay ! Cause you see. honey, people would talk, 
and Miss Sina's too deep to let people talk about 
her ! So, you know, chile, Miss Sina ain't a gwine 
to let her go an' whatever she says is law an' 
gospel here, as you see yourself!" 

" I must try, though ! 1 must try ! It were 
shameful to be silent, and let that angelic old 
lady be tormented by a fiend like Sina Hin- 
ton !" 

Now, unfortunately for all concerned, Har- 
riette instead of going immediately to Red-Stone 
Hall, and revealing to Mrs. Sumaierfield what 
she had witnessed, determined first to inform 
her uncle, Father Burieigh, and act upon his ad- 
vice. It was very late in the afternoon, when 
Harriette reached Sacred Heart. The old priest 
was in his study and Harriette, after laying off 
her riding-skirt and hat, and eating a piece of 
bread and meat for she was nearly starved 
went into his study, and sitting down, recounted 
all that she had seen and heard at Oak Grove. 
The priest listened with deep gravity, and groan 
after groan struggled up from his chest, and sigh 
after sigh broke from his lips as the story pro- 
gressed and, 

Where is the end of one sin?" he said, 
Where is the end of one sin ?" 

The end of it would be here and now, dear 
uncle, if you would only go and expose this sin- 
ful girl ; and use your influence with Mrs. Sum- 
merfield in behalf of the suffering old lady ; and 
with Squire Darling, (for I know if he won't 
listen to anybody else on earth, he will listen to 
you,) in behalf of his distressed daughter!" 

"I may not! must not interfere, my dear 
child !" said the priest, with a deep sigh. " As 
for Mrs. Darling, she is a saint prepared for 
Heaven ( May her sorrows be sanctified to her 
less holy relatives ! May she herself have a 
speedy release! For Winny! 'she has sowed 
the wind, and must reap the whirlwind.' I can 
not interfere !" 

Well, uncle !" said Harriette, with a look of 
deep disappointment, " I counted certainly upon 
your assistance in exposing villainy and reliev- 
ing oppression but as I have it not, I must try 
what I can do alone ! I shall go to-morrow to 
Red-Stone Hall ! and reveal to Mrs. Summerfield 
the situation of her mother at Oak Grove!" 

The priest arose suddenly, and walked up to 
her, dropped his hand upon her shoulder, and 
said, sternly, 

" You shall do no such thing, Harriette ! Yon 
Shall not interfere by one word." 

"I am sorry, uncle! but in this matter, for 



time in my life, I 



the fi st 
yu!" 

The countenance of the pneat changed fright- 
fully before her his face grew thin and fierce 
in its agony, and his eyes struck into hers with 
a piercing anguish, intolerable to meet her eyes 
dropped, and she paled with vague terror, as he 
said, slowly, 

" Girl ! you know not what you do ! Would 
you fell the old lady by one blow to the grave? 
W '.Id you rover Mrs, Summerfield with dis- 
honor would you break the proud heart of Imo- 
gene would you bring me to a. shameful death ? 
Yes ! you h-ave heard aright, Harriette ! You 
reay well gaze with those startled eyes ! If you 
would flood a whole family with infamy and hor- 
ror! fferd that fell girl! She is a demon, Har- 
riette ! but a demon of transcendent power and 
malice, nevertheless !" 



CHAPTER XX. 



Thou dwell'si on sorrow's high and barren piace, 
But round about the mount an angel guard 
v Chariot^ of fire- horses of fire encamp, 

To keep thee safe for heaven ! Mrs. Ellet. 

When H rriette had taken leave of Red-Stone 
Hall for her Quixotic visit to Oak Grove, she 
left Mrs. arH Miss Summerfield still sitting in 
the wainscoted parlor. Miss Summerfield did 
not resume her reading, but after looking 
steadily at her mother for awhile., she said, in 
low, slow tones, 

" Mother, what is your purpose in this 
affair ?" 

"To remain inactive, Imogene; I cannot, 
with any sort of self-respect, again interfere 
with Squire Darling's method of governing his 
household. Indeed, Oak Grove is no longer a 
fit or pleasant place of visiting, and were it not 
for the duty I owe my mother, and the wish to 
make Sina Hinton's stay there a little less un- 
pleasen^, I should never enter its doors." 

* My mother, do you not see that my uncle " 

Squire Doling, if you please, my dear." 

" Mother, why ?" 

You may scarcely be proud to claim the re- 
lationship of that gentleman, Miss Summerfield. 
You were about to say something, my dear '/" 

" Mother, do you not perceive that Squire Dar- 
ling's own evil passions cause all this misery, 
both at Oak Grove and at the Pines ?" 

"1 see, my dear, that Winny's disobedience 
has caused it all." 

" My mother, Winny's disobedience is irre- 
trievable it belongs to the -past the squire's 
resentment is the present evil to be overcome. 
It is leading to general ruin! Mother, his re- 



SHANNONDALE. 
mus disobey 



69 



sentment is not without > purpose ; be hater, 
Ardenrie, and hopes to conrif el Winnx; to Ip&ve 
him ; his own heart is not pur>^ enough to teach 
him that she can never do that. Winny may 
perish with want, but she will never leave 
Edgar." 

"And to what does all this talk tend, my 
daughter ?" 

" To thi*, my mother : tht t we must succor 
and save Winny and Edgar they are bofh too 
young to struggle successfully witii uch diffi- 
culties as now surround ^hem. We must assist 
them, mother ; we must frustrate Squire Dar- 
ling's plan of freezing and starving Winny to 
death for that will be the chosen alternative." 

"Well, I listen to you, my child !" 

" Let us invite Ardenn** and Winny here to 
spend the winter, and before spring, Squir Dar- 
ling may be reconciled, or, if not, we mav hear 
of some business for Edgar " 

Imogene, my dear, I disapprove of this f 1 
do not like to give aid and succor to a disoSedi- 
ent and rebellious child I Let Winny suffer the 
penalty of her sin ! Until her father pleases to 
forgive her, she -nast endure " 

" Unto death, mother! You heard whar ttnr- 
riette said. Her report agrees with wriat 1 
heard before from Mattie Smilie, who gained 
her information from her relatives, that was 
my reason for wishing Harriette to see her ! 
Mother, I have heard you say that threatened 
consumption is not to be trifled with that a 
single week of delay may decide the destiny of 
the victim, and place a cure beyond the power 
of medicine ! Mother, I cannot so give up my 
cousin !" 

Imogene, I never thought you loved any one 
much since your return from school ; you have 
been so cold ! least of all did I know of your 
affection for your cousin." 

" Nor did /, mother, until she fell into mis- 
fortune!" 

" Imogene, my child, have you set your heart 
upon this matter ?" 

"Indeed I have, my mother! I desire to 
have Winny and her husband here." 

" Imogene ; this is the first boon you ever ask- 
ed of me, my child ! did you know it ?" 

No, mother." 

Itw and, 1 mo \ darling, it gives me an 
opportunity of fixing a condition " 

Imogene suddenly raised her large eyes, shoot- 
ing a quickly piercing glance into her mother's, 
and then dropped the lids. 

"I will invite Winny here, if you confide 
to me" 

" Mother mother !" exclaimed Imogene, in a 
tone of suHden, acute pain, her face growing 
thin and pale in i^s anguish. 

Mrs. Summerfield also grew pale, but main- 
tained her composure. 

" But you must must confide to me that 



70 



SH \NNONDALE. 



which rests upon your mind, blighting your 
health blighting your beauty, darkening your 
youth, overshadowing my age I" 

Imog ne, deadly pale, and shuddering in everv 
nerve, arose, reeled, clung to ^er chair for sup- 
port, recovered partially, and tot'ered from the 
room. M'rs. S immerfield left, her seat to accom- 
pany her daughter, but with a death-like brow, 
and frantic, adjuring gesture, Imogene repul- 
sed her 

Merciful Heaven ! what is this ? What but 
GUILT should hid-: itself thus from even a mo- 
ther eyes? What Borrow but REMORSE should 
shrink even from a mother's sympathy? But 
guilr, remorse, for Imogene ? Impossible ! Oh, 
would I had never trusted her from home ! she 
was so Hanoy! *o full of life and light before 
he left home ! none so gay as she ? Now what 
a change I Merciful Heaven ! what does it 
mean? Shall I ever know? The slightest no- 
tir>- o; h^r melancholy disturbs her ! Any ques- j tered the room, 
tion as to its cause agitates her nearly to death ; 
I must not allude to it again! May the Virgin 
protect her !" 

Such was the mental soliloquy of Mrs. Sum- 
merneld, as she resumed her seat and mechani- 
cally went on with her tambouri-ng 

Wnen the dinner hour dre T on, Imogene re- 
appeared, but with a majestic gravity settled 
upon her brow, that repelled every, even her 
mother's inquiries and comments. When they 
had left the table, and were seated again by the 
fire, Miss S'unmerfield inquired, 

" Will yon, my dear mother, send for Ardenne 
and Winny ?" 

" Will it make you happy if I do, my darling 
child ?" 

" Mother, I desire it above all things." 
" I will send for them, then, to-morrow !" 
Imogene took her mother's hand and pressed 
it closely, saying 

" My dearest mother ! dismiss anxiety on my 
account believe that there is nothing worse 
than heart-sickness, as unreasonable as it is un- 
founded ! It must he disease for life seems to me 
to be utterly valueless ! at times I lose all faith 
in Heaven ! all love for earth ! and only pray for 
unconsciousness ! not death for I do not live 
now ! 

* Imogene I you are the envy of the whole 
valley, young, beautiful, accomplished, an 
heiress, and betrothed to the most distinguished 
young man in the State, and yet" 

"I am heart-sick and brain-sick, mother!" 
then, with a sudden relapie into her old reserve, 
she said '< 1 did nnt menu to trouble you, mo- 
ther, with my nervousness I only meant to re 
lieve your anxiety !" 

And you have not done so, Imogene ! You 
are not nervous ! some dark vecret shadows nil 
your mind! some heavy griel weighs down 
your head Imogene " 



The lady had quickly forgotten her resolution 
of silence upon the subject of her daughter's 
melancholy, but was recalled to it by the in- 
creasing agitation of Miss Summerfield She 
suddenly dropped the subject, and recurring to 
another, said 

" I have given orders for the yellow chamber, 
with the adjoining dressing-room, to be prepared 
for Winny." 

"Thank you, dearest mother! You confer 
a benefit on me, also, in giving me some one to 
care for, and be kind to I mean some one who 
like the poor invalid, my Cousin Winny, really 
needs, really suffers for attention." 

The conversation dropped. 

Mrs. Summerfield took up her knitting, and 
Imogene fell into her usual state of cold and dark 
abstraction. From this she was aroused by the 
opening of the door, and the announcement of 
Colonel Danger field, who immediately after en- 



CHAPTER XXI. 

COLONEL D AN&ERFIELD* 

He Jakes the hand I give not nor withhold 
Its pulse nor check'd nor quicken'd calmly cold, 
And still he goes unmourned returns unsought 
4nd oft when present absent from my tnought, 
Oh ! hard it is the heart's recoil to bear, 
And hide from one perhaps another there! 

Byron. 

Colonel Dangerfield entered the parlor, bowing 
with his usual grave and stately courtesy. Mrs. 
Summerfield arose, curtsied, and indicated a seat. 
Imogene nodded gravely without rising. Colonel 
Dangerfield took the chair on the other side of 
the fire-place to that where Imogene was seated, 
and immediately entered into conversation with 
Mrs. Summerfield, who was seated between 
them. Colonel Dangerfield was not a gentleman 
who considered his duty violated, if he failed OH 
coming in to take a seat by his lady-love ; nor 
was Mrs. Summerfield a lady who thought po- 
liteness infringed, by remaining in the room du- 
ring the visit of her daughter's accepted lover. 
Indeed, all this party seemed to shrink from 
anything very prononcte. Nor was it until Mrs. 
Summerfield was summoned from the room by 
her housekeeper, that Colonel Dangerfield, taking 
Imogene's hand, led her to a distant sofa, seated 
her, and stood before her with folded arms and 
severe brow. There was nothing lover-like to 
his aspect. Imogene's hands lay folded one 
over the other upon her lap, and her eyes cast 
down, seemed fixed upon them. He stood there 
contemplating her full a minute, and then said, 

" Imogene Summerfield f what is the relation 
supposed to be subsisting between us at this mo- 
ment?" 



SHANNONDALE. 



71 



She was silent ; a sigh or sob fluttered, strug 
gled in her bosom, but did not escape* 

"Did you hear my question, Miss Summer- 
field ?" 

* I h*>ard it." 

Will it please you to reply ?" 

" I am your betrothed wife you do not per- 
mit me to forget it !" replied she, without raising 
her eyes. 

" In what light do you consider this engage- 
ment, Imogene ? Will you be so good as to look 
at me, Miss Summerfield, when replying to my 
question ?" 

Imogene's brow flushed as she raised her eyes, 
with their slow, returning light, slowly to his 
face, and fixed them there so steadily, that his 
falcon glance fell before their calm, perusing 
gaze. 

1 inquired, Miss Summerfield, in what light 
you were pleased to look on our betrothal ?" 

I hold it to be sacred, inviolable 1 at least it 
shall be so on my side!" answered Imogene, in 
a tone so grave and firm, with a sigh, involun- 
tary, but so profound, that Colonel Dangerfield 
frowning darkly, said, 

"You say that, Miss Summerfield, with the 
air of a martyr. 1 pray you, were your inclina- 
tions influenced in the least in this matter ?" 

" They were influenced, Dangerfield ! We were 
betrothed, you know, when I was an infant of 
five years of age, and you a youth of fifteen ! I 
was early taught, along with the Cathechism of 
the Council of Nice, the Lord's Prayer, the 
Apostle's Creed, and the Ten Commandments, a 
love and veneration for you, as one older, wiser, 
more enlightened and more accomplished than 
myself, and above all, as one who was destined 
to be my husband. I had no brother or sister, 
and except Winny, who lived at a distance from 
me, no cousin ! and I thought only of you." 
"Yet I was absent at the university!" 
" Bat present with my thoughts always." 
"Weil! an1 then!" 

" And then came the seven years of the revo- 
lution f and I, child as I was, had my whole 
soul fired with love of country and of liberty 
yes! and admiration of the boy -hero who, at 
sixteen years of age, threw down his books and 
seized his musket, and who, at twenty-four, re- 
turned, illustrious with military glory, and with 
the rank he bears now !" replied Imogene, with 
something of enthusiasm kindling her pale cheek. 
" And then," said Colonel Dangerfield, bit- 
terly, " when that boy who in his first battle, 
and in every subsequent field in all the trials, 
privations, and dangers of his campaigns -in 
hunger and ia cold in vigil and in illness in 



battle and in tent thought only of one being- 
one small girl a calm, proud, majestic Jittle 
princess of nature whose high heait he thought 
wou'd demand illustrious love! when that boy 
returned to lay h s laurels few or many at 
the feet of the maiden how did she receive him 1 
You are silent, Imogene! shall /answer? She 
met him wi'h a kindling blush of pride and love 
on cheek and brow; and when, in his own proper 
name and person, he offered to renew his be- 
trothal how did she receive his vows?" 

"With pride and joy! Withpiide and joy, 
Dangerfield! to be a hero's chosen wife; but 
with the love of a sister, Dangerfield! Alas I 
alas ! I knew no difference !" 

" What wild words are these, Miss Summer- 
field ? You knew no difference ! Do you knoi 
a difference ?" inquired Colonel Dangerfield in 
a severe tone. 

Imogene had dropped her face within her opea 
palms, and remained silent. 

" Those few bright, glorious days ! too bright, 
too glorious to last ! On ! we might have known 
them for a phantasmagoria! an illusion! a bright 
vision vanished ! We parted, Imogene you to 
pass three years at school, for you were but fif- 
teen ; I to my estate, left desolate during the 
war, to occupy the time of your absence with 
converting that estate into a paradise for your 
reception. The three years are passed. The 
full time for the consummation of our marriage 
is at hand. You return from school 1 claim yoar 
promise; and now you entreat a delay; laccede. 
But if I touch your hand it turns cold in mine! 
Once I pressed a kiss upon your brow that struck 
a sudden paleness down your cheeks ! You 
reeled ! thought you would have fallen! How 
is this, Miss Summerfield ?" 

Imogene arose, trembling, and would have 
left her seat, but he intercepted her. " Aias, 
Dangerfield ! my hand is yours whenever you 
claim it. But, oh ! listen ! before you take it, 
you must hear a dark secret ! a sin that I have 
not dared to breathe in the confessional ! a sor- 
row that I have not dared to confide to my mo- 
ther ! and when you have heard this secret you 
will cast away this hand with scorn ! But not 
yet ! I cannot enter upon it yet ! Let me pass, 
sir! I am ill! fainting! let me pass to my room ! 
Dangerfield ! I will leave our destiny in your 
hands ! you shall be the arbiter of mine ! I can 
do no less, nor more! Good-bye ! ;J and gliding 
past him she left the room, leaving him stupified 
with astonishment and horror. Recovering 
himself at last, he took his hat, and leaving an 
apology with a servant for Mrs. Summerfield, 
eft the house. 



SHANNOND ALE, 



CHAPTER XXII. 

TEE DAY OP REST* 

How still the morning of the hallowed day! 

The poor man's day ! 

The pale mechanic now has leave to breathe 
The morning air pure from the city's smoke, 
As wandering slowly up the river's banks, 
He meditates on Him whose power he marks 
In each green tree that proudly spread* the bough, 
And in the tiny dew-bent flowers that bloom 
Around the roots ; and while he thus surveys 
With elevated joy each rural charm, 
He hopes yet fears presumption In the hope, 
That Heaven may be one Sabbath without end ! 

Grahame. 

Yes, it is only those who toil six days in the 
week, that feel all the love and mercy shown in 
the institution of the Sabbath in the command 
that makes cessation of toil a duty rest a re- 
ligious service. Winny's household-work was 
light enough, yet to her delicate frame and sink- 
ing health and unaccustomed muscles, it was 
toil. She had learned from Hettie all that was 
necessary to know in the conducting of her small 
menage and now assumed the whole charge of 
the cooking, washing, house-cleaning and needle- 
work, upon hersel-f; and with her fragility and 
inexperience, it took her all day to get through ; 
and often in the day her frail limbs would fail, 
her head would swim, and her sight cloud from 
weakness ; but never for weariness never for 
pain wou^d Winny pause while anything remain- 
ed to be done ; and when night came, she would 
lie down thoroughly exhausted, yet oftentimes 
too rnu^h fatigued and excited to compose her- 
self to sleep, while the very idea of the inevi- 
table duty of rising again early in the morning 
to renew the incessant and now painful daily la- 
bor would appal her weak nerves, and keep her 
awake. Then that constantly recurring, cruel 
eough ! the first dropping of her weary head upon 
the pillow seemed to be the signal for its com- 
mencement. It would continue all night. At 
dawn, as usual, she would fall into that heavy 
sleep and profuse bath of perspiration, while it 
see me t ih*.t a rapid and exhausting process of 
absorption was going on, and from which she 
would awake so prostrated that it seemed impos- 
sible to get up, and the painful eflo t required all 
her little strength and courage. Opiates mi > t 
have procured her rest, but. Ardenne with his 
ideas about drugs, objected to their me, assert- 
ing thit their beneficial tendency was transient 
while their injurious effect was abiding. Then 
Aldenre believed that a favorable crisis was ap- 
proaching, which, if well watched and improved, 
would eventuate in the perfect re-etabhshment 
of her health. This was th hope he \\r\A out to 
Winny all the time. And Winny knew also, 
that the time would COTIC when another claim- 



ant would need all her remaining time and care 
and service. It was now therefore with a wish 
to improve her time of comparative leisure, that 
Winny toiled hard to set her house in order. She 
never complained. Ardenne's lot was hard 
enough, she said, and he inevitably saw enough 
without her complaints. 

. -But when the blessed Sabbath day dawned, 
the day that made repose not only a privilege 
that might not be improved, but a duty that 
must be observed, Winny hailed it with grati- 
tude. There was no cooking done that day except 
that the kettle was boiled. It is true that she 
might not be able always to leave the house, but 
in that case she passed the day reclining her 
wearied frame upon a little lounge drawn up to 
the window, if the*autumn day was warm and 
bright, to the fire if it were otherwise. And 
Ardenne wofcld sit by her side and read, and 
they would converse. They had, upon some mat- 
ters, imbibed opposite opinions, or prejudices, 
and when their opposing prejudices struck, a 
spark of truth, as from the meeting of flint and 
steel, would be elicited that would sometimes 
throw a ray of light into both souls never more 
to be extinguished. Both said that in this mu- 
tual and frank confiding of all even the most 
hidden and outre thoughts, feelings, and expe- 
riences they learned more than from all the 
books they had read. Thus it ever is between 
earnest and loving souls v?ho do not fear to con- 
fide to each other their most secret thoughts, 
opinions, and speculations. 

Their home lay in the midst of a glorious 
scene, more glorious now in this resplendent 
autumn weather. Notwithstanding all their 
privations beauty and glory expanded thought 
high aspirations must be their portion here 

It was on the day, the Sabbath day, after their 
return to their mountain home, that Winny ex- 
hausted, not indeed by work this time, but by the 
fatigue of her long ride of the evening previous, 
lay on her lounge the little lounge made by 
Edgar, stuffed by Hettie, and covered with light 
blue calico by Winny. It was now drawn up to 
the open window, and Winny lay there half re- 
clining upon a pile of pillows, her long fair 
curls flowing over them a coarse plaid shawl 
thrown over her, half concealing the plain white 
wrapper she wore. Ardenne was reading by 
her side, but bis eyes continually wandered from 
his book to her sweet wan face, with its pure 
white forehead and hollow temples, its serenely 
arched eyebrows and drooping eyelids 

" O'er which the violet vein 
Wandering leaves a tender stain." 

The sweet, wan spiritual face, with iti trans- 
parent fairness and azure shadows ! and its look 
of unconscious but angelic patience ! If her eyes 
were ever lifted they ever snrrled in his. 

It was a glorious autumn Sabbath, and a still 









SHANNONDALE. 



73 



and solemn brightness flooded with a golden 
light the gorgeous woods and sky, and both re- 
ceiving the influence of the time and place 
bathed with a spirit of celestial love and beauty, 
notwithstanding all the wrong, remorse, and 
woe, both were happy, for both felt deep as 
inspiration could dart its rays a still, calm con- 
fidence in omnipotent love and final good ! So 
reading and communn^ loving and worshipping, 
they passed the Heavenly day until the hour of 
noon, when they took their simple meal of tea, 
bread and bu'ter, and preserves and then as 
Winny was refreshed they strolled out into the 
glowing forest with its rich and gorgeous foliage 
of crimson and gold, purple and green, burning in 
the rays of the afternoon sun. They returned 
from their walk merely pausing before re en- 
tering the cottage door to worship the Divinity 
in the setting sun, sinking like a world in a blaze, 
and lighting up the whole earth and sky with the 
insufferable glory of a general conflagration ! 

While standing there they observed two eques- 
trians winding up the mountain path, now hid- 
den by a turn around some projecting rock, now 
lost in a clump of stunted cedars, now emerging 



"It will be agreeable to me, dear child 1 
only tear the inconvenience to yourself, Winny! 
do you think I kept aloof from you with a purpose 
all this time ?" 

" Yes, Imogene, I thought so! but I did not 
presume to judge your actions, far less to blame 
you ! I felt that you were right in testilying 
your disapproval of my step." 

My dear Winny, it was not that* the heart 
knoweth its own bitterness!' perhaps I was 
pre-occupied with myself." 

It was now Winny 's turn to read in that high, 
regal brow, characters of profound suffering nnd 
stern endurance. It was like a mournful wail oi 
solemn music without the words. Apparent, 
but not comprehensible ; speaking to the emo- 
tions, but not to the understanding. There was 
something, too, that awed investigation, and 
Winny's eyes fell. Then 

" How is my dear grandmother ?" she asked, 
in a low, tremulous voice, 

Imogene replied by telling her as much and 
as far as she knew, or was led to believe ; 
among other things, that Mips Sina Hinton was 
very good to her, very kind and attentive, night 



and appearing in the full light Miss Summer- | and day, though the unfortunate lady, like many 
field attended by a groom! Miss Summerfield | i n her sad state, took a prejudice against her 
looked well on horseback she was not a dash- | best friend, and disliked Miss Hinton. That 



ing rider like Harriette Joy, nor a swift aerial 
flyer like Winny had been, but her attitude was 
erect and easy her motion slow and majestic. 
She wore a very dark greea habit and a beaver 
from which a fall of black ostrich feather min- 
gled with her raven ringlets. Surprised and 
deeply pleased to see her cousin, Winny passed 
her arm into that of Ardenne and went forth to 
meet her. Imogene leaned down from her sad- 
dle and embraced her cousin, who said, with a 
faltering voice and deep feeling, 

Oh, Imogene ! it is so good in you to come ! 
1 am so glad to see you !" 

In proof of which gladness Winny "burst 
out a crying." Ardenne bowed, but Imogene 
releasing W?.nny, held out her hand with a friend- 
ly look, and th*n Ardenne shook it cordially, 
welcoming her to "Pine Cliffs." He led her 
horse to the block and helped her off, and taking 
her arm in his conducted her into the house. 

" 1 had no idea of the length of this ride, my 
dear Winny," said Miss Summerfield, as she fol- 
lowed her cousin into the adjoining chamber. 

No it is deceiving the distance from Red- 
Stone to Pine Cliffs is said to be ten miles, but 
by the winding of the bridle path in the ascent 
it makes it double that distance. You cannot 
return to night. I hope you will not mind the 
inconvenience of staying with us one night. We 
will make you comfortable as circumstances will 
admit," said Winny, while assisting her cousin 
off with her habit. Imogene looked at her wan, 
blue, fair face, and fragile, evanescent form and 
in reply pressed her affectionately to her bosom. 



they could never sufficiently repay Miss Hinton 
for staying there under all these unpleasant and 
adverse circumstances, 

Winny sunk down in a chair, dropped her head 
upon the foot of the bed, and gave herself up 
to the agony of remorse and sorrow, that the 
name of her grandmother, and the idea of her 
sufferings, always excited. 

A glance through the window, showed MiM 
Summerfield that Ardenno was out in the yard, 
just going off to show the groom where to put 
the horses, and she turned and addressed her- 
self to comforting Winny. 

"Dear child, you confirm what Harriette 
told me. Your remorse is mortyd it is a dis- 
ease, and it is killing you ! Wmny, your very 
error drew upon you duties not of regret, re- 
morse, but of a kind that regret and remorse 
are utterly opposed to, and inconsistent with! 
Do you think that your immoderate remorse 
for your marriage will promote Edgar's happi- 
ness?" 

Oh, no ! and I do not regret our marriage ! 
No! come what will, in this world or the next, 
I shall never regret our marriage ! It is my 
disobedience 1 repent j its consequences to otheri 
I lament !" 

" Well, for that disobedience you have just- 
ly, though severely, suff red, and deeply re- 
pented. Yet justice has been tempered with 
mercy some of its consequences' have been 
as profoundly happ7 as others have ben disas- 
trous. Your very sufferings have severely test- 
ed the love of your husband, and you have 



74 



SHANNONDALE 



fou MI t inexhaustible In that love you have 
been profoundly '.appy --highly blessed! that 
love at length is right, note is religious, now 
evil may surround it, but cannot touch it, 
cannot mingle with it! Oh ! I have thought 
of the fall of mau ! the loss of Eden ! the 
o ? forth into the wilderness! And I have 
felt tnat the curse was not so great ! the loss 
so heavy! the exile so dreary, after all! It 
was just the ( curse' that a Merciful God, a 
Loving Father, to keep His word, would have 
infl cted to save His children, would have 
softened for they were sent forth together, with 
Uave to love ! How much more terrible would 
have heen the curse to either, had either re- 
tain <1 PARADISE alone! had they been for- 
bidden to love !" 

Winny's eyes were fixed with intense inte- 
rest upon the solemnly eloquent countenance 
of Miss Summertield, and she almost uncon- 
scious!', exclaimed 

Im >gene ! you love !" 

Hush ! hu*h ! I am betrothed, I ought to 
love I" replied she, hastily and huskily, growing 
so very white under the gentle, but penetrating 
scrutiny of her cousin, that Winny quickly 
withdrew her glance. Recovering herself, Miss 
Summerfield said < ; I wish you to rouse, Win- 
ny ! the past is irreparable ! Fidelity to pre- 
tent duties is possible and pressing Get cheer- 
ful and well ! look at things broadly and in- 
telligentlyHeaven is always repairing the er- 
rors, and forgiving the sins, and bringing good 
from the evil of earth In the course of this 
work some have to suffer by the faults, and for 
the good of others it is the beloved of God who 
are chosen for this service God gave His only 
Son for the redemption of the world. How 
trite that text, but how full of meaning how 
broad how suggestive. It is the best beloved 
children of Heaven who 'suffer here for the 
good of the others. If we judge by her divine 
spirit of love and goodness, our venerable pa- 
rent is one of those beloved ones she suffers 
by, and through, and for others ! You, Winny, 
needed this very schooling that you are getting 
will you only improve it? My Uncle Dar- 
ling, with all respect be it spoken I fear, 
needs some severe discipline also. He may not 
benefit by it. We too often delay all the kind 
purposes of Heaven towards us delay not de- 
feat, for I fully believe in the final triumph of 
Heaven, and of good ! But Winny, my dear 
child, I did not come to preach you an after- 
noon sermon, but to make you a proposi- 
tion." 

" Well, come in to the parlor fire, it is bla- 
ring cheerfully now, and then we can talk," 
replied Winny, leading the way into the next 
room, sett* >g a chair for Imogene by the fire, 
and seatui; her side 

Where is Edgar ?" 



Gone to the spring, to get water to fill the 
tea-kettle," replied Winny, a slight blush of 
shame (for which she mentally reproached her- 
self,) tinging her pale cheek. 

" My proposition, Winny ! My mother and 
myself are lonely at Red-Stone, even now, in 
this fine weather, when there is so much visit- 
ing. But soon the winter will be upon us, 
and the river will be frozen over, enclosing us 
on three sides, and we shall be very lonely 
soon, also, this bleak cliff of yours will be unin- 
habitable, from its exposed situation, and the 
severe cold. So I come, in the name of my mo- 
ther, as well as myself, to beg that you and 
Edgar will shut up your house for the wiater, 
and come and visit us until spring Do, Win- 
ny ! we should make a snug, happy family there, 
all of us together. We should be quite inde- 
pendent of our neighbors for society 1" 

Winny took her cousin's hand and pressed it 
gratefully ; then she said, with much feeling ex- 
pressed in her tone, 

I thank you, Imogene I am profoundly sen- 
sible of your kind and affectionate puipose. Oh, 
yes, I thank you earnestly for your generous pro- 
position, and for the delicate manner of ma- 
king it." 

" And you will accept it, my dear cousin ?" 
"No 

"No? why not? I cannot think you are 
in earnest." 

Winny's cheek slightly flushed ; she replied, 
We have nothing left but our self-respect 
let us retain that !" 

" Your self-respect, Winny ! What do yon 
mean ? Your self-respect compromised by pay- 
ing us a visit ? That is very complimentary to 
us, my dear Winny !" 

" Imogene, people do not pay visits of only 
ten miles distant, six months long ! I thank you, 
dear Imogene ! If any one could make indebted- 
ness look like independence and a benefit re- 
ceived appear an obligation conferred it is you 
with your refined and delicate tact. I am grate- 
ful with my whole heart, Imogene, while forced 
to decline your generous proposal!" 

But, my love, you had best consult Ardenne 
before you give me such a decided answer he 
may think differently." 

Winny smiled, a soft, bright smile, and then 
she answered slowly, 

You may laugh at the triteness and namoy- 
pambyiBm of what I am about to say, but Edgar 
and I have but one mind between us. 1 have 
only to listen to my own instincts to hear Ms 
sentiments. There comes Edgar, now, with 
two pails of water in his hands. You might 
now go to meet him, and mate the same propo- 
sition to him that you have just made to me. 
He would feel your goodness and affection Deeply 
as X do, and decline your proposition firmly as 1 
did ." 






&HANNONDALE. 



75 



Miss Snmmerfield received this decision with 
a look of deep disappointment. She mused in 
silence. She was not inclined to yield the point 
so easily. 

Then how in the world is one to be of use 
to you ?" at last she asked. 

" By doing everything to ameliorate our grand- 
mother's situation." 

"We do that, Winny, from another set of 
motives " 

" By reconciling my father ?" 

We have tried in vaiu I" 

"By loving us yourself?" 

1 do, my dear Winny, with all the heart I 
have." 

Tne entrance of Ardenne, with the pails, ar- 
rested the conversation Winuy arose, filled her 
little kettle, hung it over th fire, and began fr> set 
the table for tea. While she was thu>i engaged, 
Miss Summerfield turned to Ardenue, aud said, 

" I shall not return to Red-Stone to-night, Mr. 
Ardenne. Will you he so good as to send my 
servant home immediately, that motber may not 
be uneasy at this unexpected absence, and direct 



tains were covered with snow and ice; their 
gorges glistening with nkeleton trees carved in 
ice ; their hollows filled up with hills of unow 
drifts ; the river far below them, frozen to t he 
bottom, swollen and cracked open ; the fields 
beyond a vast ocean of saow and ice, rolling off 
towards the cold, blue horizon, with spectral 
trees and houses standing here and there. Clouds 
darkened the sky 

It was on the 15th of January. It had snowed 

all night. Edgar leaving Winny in her heavy, 

morning sleep, descended to the kitchen to open 

the window-shutters and light the fire. The 

cold was so intense, that in passing from their 

bed chamber to the kitchen his hands grew 

numb, heavy, and almost useless. He went to 

the window to open the shutters the snow had 

penetrated through the old shutters, filling up 

i the spac" between tnem and the window, and 

i frozen there, excluding every ray of light, and 

! making the room pitch dark It was impossible 

I to raise the window without shattering the 

glass, and so Edgar went to the door to open it 

i aud admit the light. The snow was drifted and 



him, Mr. Ardenne, if you please, to return for ! frozen against the door, too, for he had to pull 

VWA rtovl-rr +s\~wirhi*mixr wtsii*n i at 7'^ wri + lt all Itia of-v^ar* rvfrh tnrst f\r tViraa timaa an/1 



me early to-morrow morning ? 
Ardenne bowed, and withdrew to do her bidding 
In the course of the evening Imogene renewed 
and pressed her proposal to Winny in vain. After 
tea, while Winny was absent in the adjoining 
bed-chamber, changing the bed-linen and prepa- 
ring it for Miss Summerfield's occupation, Imo- 
gene took the opportunity of speaking to Ar- 
denne apart, upon the subject of her cousin's 
failing health and great debility, and by every 
argument in her power to persuade him to ac 
cept their hospitality for the winter. Ardenne 
was affected with grief when she alluded to 
Winny's declining health, and, for for, severe 
toils ; he was moved with gratitude when Imo- 
gene used every delicate and ingenuous persua 
sion to induce him to go to Red-Stone, but, in the 
end, with earnest expressions of gratitude and 
esteem, he declined the offer, requesting, as his 
decision was quite final, that it might not be re- 
peated. Imogene's scheme was relinquished very 
reluctantly. 

Soon after breakfast, the next morning, her 
servant rode up, leading her palfrey, and Miss 
Summerfield bade good-bye to the Ardennes and 
Pine Cliffs. 



i 



CHAPTER XXIIL 



JANUARY AT PINK CLIFFS- 



Tis done ! Dread winter spreads his latest gloom 
And reigns tremendou* o'e^ the conquered year! 
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies! 
How dumb the tuneful ! Horror wide extends 
Bs de olate domain ! Thompson 

It wab the middle ot January. The moun- 



with all his strength two or three times, and 
then with the last pull it came violently, though 
heavily opens and then it was still dark ! and 
Edgar knew that a snow-drift had closed up the 
whole front of the house. There was a back 
door, but no back window to this kitchen-parlor. 
He went and opened the door, and then turning, 
saw in front, from sill to ceiling, a shining bar- 
ricade of frozen snow. It was still snowing and 
freezing as it fell. He closed the doore and 
lighted a candle. Then he proceeded to kindle 
the fire by its light you might have seen that 
our poor boy was frightfully changed his face 
was pallid, peaked, haggard ; his eyes and cheeks 
were hollow, the expression of his countenance 
despairing he might have been taken for the 
starved apothecary in Romeo and Juliet. He 
looked old, and our Edgar was but twenty. So 
much for a romantic name and a runaway match. 
1 think if his sponsors in baptism had called him 
Job or Barnabas, or any substantial, respectable, 
broad-bottomed, upright and downright name, 
that he never would have grown up a sonnet 
scribbler, and eloped with uis pretty pupil but 
to call him "Edgar!" I could have told them 
so. 

Reader ! if you ever heard of an Edgar, or an 
Edwin, who did not let his genius, or his pas- 
sions, or his demon fly away with ijim and who 
on the contrary, grew up to be a useful, stout, 
and well fed member of society, I shall thank 
you to let me know it. There is a spell, a 
charm, a talisman in a name If you want to 
make a girl a flirt, call her " Fanny," and the 
chances will be good; if >ou want to make her 
an^hing and everything in turn, and nothing 
long a medley of inconsistencies a chaos of 



76 



SHANNONDALE. 



contraries, give '^er a long string of names, and 
I warrant >ou she will cook you up a sermon or 
a satire, preach orthodoxy with Isaac Taylor, or 
scepticism *i'h Sielley; be a nun or a bac- 
chante through life, and having no individuality, 
no self, o UNITY, at death she will dissolve into 
her origin* e'ements of fire and air, earth and 
water ! But this is a digression. 

Mr. Elpar was neither playing flutes nor 
writing sonnets- He was just filling the tea- 
kettle and sweeping the harth alas ! just think 
of a " radiant archangel" sweeping up the hearth! 
In tru'h, this was the burnt bottom crust of 
their cake of romance ! Well ! this " burn- 
ing and shining light," who was going to blaze 
forth upon the dazz'ed world with the splendor 
of a newly created sun! was just now the mas- 
ter of as dirty a p*ir of hands, as smut, cinders, 
smoke, and ashes could make, as he beat the 



Yes next door to people who are dying ef 
luxurious surfeit!" 

"I cannot realize it!" 

" Do you realize that we are half buried in 
snow, and that this is only the middle of Janu- 
ary 1" 

" Yes but we have a good fire !" 

" Do you realize that we have not a cent and 
no means of getting a cent ! that we have no- 
thing between us and hunger but a little meal, 
and that is nearly gone ? 

Well ! it is likely we shall be hungry." 

" And how long do you think hunger may last 
before it produces death ?" 

I don't know how long ?" 

A few days perhaps." 

" Well, Edgar, that is the Lord's affair when 
a case is in extremity it is exclu-i ely in the 
Lord's hands. Faith is worth not ling, Ed?ai, 



little broom against the jambs, when the stair j that does not pierce the mystery ot De >th if we 



door opened ani Wmny appeared, blue and half 
frozen, though closely wrapped in her coarse 
plaid shawl ; she smiled an affectionate good- 
morni"g, and set herself immediately to work at 
the table. P>or Winny had, in spite of all her 
promises of reformation, overslept herself so 
often, that she was ashamed now of attempting 
an apology. She took a little earn meal and be- 
gan to mrx a cake. Tae tea-kettle was boiling, 
and Edgar a ked her for the coffee. 

Tnere is none, Edgar ; the last was used 
yesterday morning." . 

Tea, then ; tea would do." 

" Tnere is but one making, Edgar ; and per- 
haps we had better save that, in case either of 
as should be sick." 

" It has come at last, then," said he, bitterly, 
"the rime when I see you without the common- 
est comforts of life, such as every negro enjoys, 
and see myself witnout the means of providing 
them for you." 

" Well, Edgar! we are not without the neces- 
laries of life we have meal yet that is a com- 
fort." 

Meal ! and how much? Tell me that, 
Winny !" 

" How much ? Oh ! enough to last us two or 
three days." 

" And then, Winny ?" 

" And then 1 do not know what then that is 
God's concern ! not ours, for we have done all 
Wf can " 

' Look around, Winny! is there anything 
else to s^U or barter for meal ? your carpets 
and quilts, your sofa everything gone except 
one straw bed, a kettle, griddle and two bo*b 
and now that we have been married fifteen 
months we are reduced to positive penury 
within a week p-rhaps of beggary or " 

"Starvation? do people ever starve, Edgar?" 

r*t/ 

What? among their fellow creatures?" 



are starved out of earth, which I cannot t^iok 
likely to happen, the eyes ttat close bere will 
open in heaven I only pray to live till our child 
is born, and that wilt not be mai y days, and 
then let us all die together ! Oh ! together , Ed- 
gar I 1 have so mu.'h ait*? 1 should rot wisu you 
to live here, Edgar, n 7 di^d I wish you to go 
with me to the Better Laod.'" 

By this time. the little corn cake was done, 
and she put it upon t e table. There was no 
cloth it had b?en sold. There were only two 
common plates. Th-y sat down to the table, 
and Edgar cut the corn bread iato lour qua ters. 
They ate but little there wa.a so much despair 
painted on both cou itenance-s Yet ea-,^ was 
sorrowing for the other. Ardenne had ; e er 
spoken so plainly, so roughly almost, a h" spoke 
now, and here was the secret! A soon a^ 'he 
little meal was over, and Winny hs-d cleared the 
table an easy task, and they sat down at the 
fire, she said, 

" It is because you have notrrng to do, c 
E^gar, that makes you eel *o despair* ng- it 
were at work, ev*-n though it should bring 
no remuneration, you would eel better w< 
you not ?" 

"Oh, yes, for rh<n ' should feel sure 
d >ing some one a service." 

"I knew that. But think of this, Edgar! 
They also serve who wait L-arn to 
and to wait! to labo^ is easy mos' of u pr 
f er it; but to wait that indeed i- d ffi ult 
to labor is inspiring, encouraging, life giving 
to wait is depressing, rftscouragmg, apatuet 
death like. Y^u labored hnpetnih Le n ' 
harder lesson TO WAIT hopefully We will leal 
toge.thnr. and see wbo 'an be the rm*t patient and 
hopeful ! I am sure you will be Edgar, for 
hav^ been so all this time < nlv t 1 v you have 
failed n in t,. nt It is hard tor m K. sit here 
w.th ne hand folded over tUeoth>-r, 'o it tempts 
me 1 1 thi.ik myself worthless and dawdling, and 



SH A.NNONDALE. 



/7 



impairs mv self-respect more than anything else life, feel that whatever comes, they meet it *- 
in my experience; there is the difficulty that [ ffe ther! Ah! Eddie, recollect that when Adam 



makes it so hard to wait but what help for it 
now? Mi- slender our slender wardrobe is all 
in perfect repair our house clean and our dishes 
washed now unless some of my neighbors would 
kindly -e u d me work, what ami to do? <TO 
WAIT?" 

" Y u have more to do, Winny to en- 
dure ! 

That is not hard !" 

" Winny ! I have n >t roughly taken hold of our 
privation* this morning without a purpose! My 
dear Winny ! my soul's dearest companion, listen 
to me Ynur father 

Well ? my father ! You are paler than ever, 
Edg-r! You shake as with an ague what is 
it ? My fa? her what ? oh, what ? 
Y->ur father, Winny, will receive you back 
surround you with all the comforts and luxu- 
ries of his great wealth if if you will leave 
me!" 

W 1 knew that before, may heaven forgive 
father for the thought!" 

Wmny ! you are within a few weeks or days 
of your confinement. You are as inexperienced 
as a cnild, and so am I but this we both know 
that it is a time of suffering and peril when 
you will require comforts, friends and tender 
nur i? ; g And what have you now? an old 
weather-beaten mountain lodge a straw bed 
and a handfuU of meal!" 

" And God above, and one dearer than life by 
my side Do not fear for me God is a good 
Father, and Nature a good nursing Mother ! I 
hall do very well !" 

Not so, Winny ! without proper care and at- 
tention you and your child both may perish. 
Winny ! you must return to your father !" 

"Never! never, Edgar! never to my father! 
never anywhere without you !" 

Edgar drew his chair to her side half em- 
bracing her he began a speech too long to report 
nere full of reason, argument, eloquence and 
persuasion yes and hope Her father, he said, 
might relent with their submission or he him- 
self might make a fortune somewhere else and 
return to claim her. In vain ! he might as well 
have talked to the moon as to Winny. She heard 
him out and then she said, 

Oh ! Edgar, when Father Burleigh was set- 
ting our fault and its consequences before us 
did we not clasp each other's hand and say, 
Whatever comes we go to meet it together ?' 
and did we not feel strong and joyous then?" 

Ah ! we were children then f we had no ex- 
perience then !" 

Ah ! but children are truer, if not wiser 
than adults; do not let experience make us cow- 
aidly or fa'se ! It is the very charm, the very 
soul and life, promise and hope of marriage, 
when those who love each other dearer than 



and Eve sinned, and were exiled, they were ba- 
nished together Oh, Eddie, recollect our very 
marriage rites warn us, that for no vicissitudes 
of sickness or health, riches or poverty in this 
uncertain world, are we to separate and never, 
never until DEATH part us and remember, Ed- 
gar, that this august ritual was passed not by ro- 
mantic boys and girls, such as we were two years 
ago, when we talked about martyrdom and 
crucifixion for each other but by grave, 
wise, elderly men, inspired by the spirit of 
God." 

" Winny, my dear child, you are eloquent, but 
one, one hard, immoveable fact stands against all 
the eloquence in the world." And Edgar set 
before her in stronger light than ever, the 
hardships, perils and agonies that awaited her, 
greater than ever she had experienced be- 
fore. 

She replied 

"Oh, Eddie, don't try to persuade me so, 
love, pleas" don't ! Whatever comes, I can bear 
it. If you are with me, I am willing to suffer 
in every member of my body, except in my poor 
heart! it is such a weak, faint thing, Eddie, 
that I fear to strike it. If 1 leave you, I should 
strike it a death blow !" 

" Winny ! I have used argument, persuasion, 
every means to bring you to consent, now, 
Winny, I must tell you that it is not a matter 
that lies in your own will, or at your own choice 
at all. Winny you SHALL NOT sacrifice your- 
self! You MUST return to your father!" said 
Ardenne, getting up, buttoning up his coat, and 
standing on the hearth, with bis back to the 
fire, and his hands clenched behind him. 

By the way, I wonder why men always get 
up, button up their coats, and stand on the 
hearth, with their backs to the fire, and their 
hands clasped behind them, whenever they in- 
tend to be very arbitrary. Is it to button up 
their resolution and heat their valor ? I've seen 
father do that a thousand times, with variation! 
for, occasionally, instead of clenching his 
hands behind him, he'd divide the tails of his 
coat, and bring them forward over his arms. 
Men are funny people ! I wonder what they do 
it for?" asked Winny, archly. 

" I wonder why women ever jest in the face of 
the gravest crisis ?" replied Ardenne, " but you 
will not evade my purpose so lightly. Winny ! do 
you understand me ? I say that you SHALL NOT 
kill yourself, and you SHALL return to your fa- 
ther's house!" 

Well, now, 1 like that ! that's delivered 
with quite Bishop -of -Rome-is h authority as if 
it were yea and amen requiring no answer 
silent obedience, etc. Now 1 tell you, Pope 
Leo Xth will find that the Godless heretic, Mar- 
tin Luther, will do as he pleases and replies 



78 



SHANNONDALE 



to him 1 WILL kill myself as much as I please 5 
I WILL NOT return to my father's house 
without you!' It is no use, Eddie! tell me to 
do anytamg else, and I will do it not this /" 
" Tnat is always a woman's reply." 
"Perhaps so! you can try me ! This is our 
first quarrel, Eddie and SHALL' and WILL NOT' 
are bandying pretty freely between us and 
botn our hearts are nearly bursting ! not with 
anger, Eddie ! but with sorrowing affection 
on your side masked with sternness on my 
side veiled with levity let it cease, dear Eddie! 
You are dying to fold me to your heart now, as 
I am tainting to rest there kiss me, Eddie ! 
love m? ! and believe me that I can bear every- 
thing that comes if you can ! and 1 know you 
can. You are courageous in yourself only fear- 
ful in me. I will never oppose your wishes in 
anything else, Edgar, nor in that when yon 
speak it from your heart, but your heart was 
not in that, Edgar." 

What could he do? What would you have 
done, Mr reader? 

In truth, Ardenne was almost bereft of his 
reason. They had struggled, and persevered, and 
econom zed. Had done whatsoever their hands 
found to do, and sought work when it could not 
be found had drawn their little expenses down 
to the smallest minimum had practised * ; indus- 
try, economy and temperance," those catholi- 
cons for success unsuccessfully ! in short, had 
lived in a way that would have delighted the 
heart of " poor Richard" and still their income 
and their little stock of personal property month 
by month diminished, until their house was 
nearly as bare as a shebelon tree thai the locusts 
have deserted. Ardenne was in despair. 

Youth is said to be hopeful, elastic. It is 
ig"orance rather that is elastic, hopeful ! Souls 
that have never been prostrated with disap- 
pointment, young or old (if such could be), 
know nothing about it But let a young head 
receive a severe shock of disappointment, and 
there is nothing in life no death-like as its de- 
spair. It is middle age that is hopef-1 and elas- 
tic. Middle age that has seen the sky cloud up 
too often not to know that it will clear again 
that has seen the sun set too many times not to 
expect its rise seen the winter snows too fre- 
quently not to anticipate the spring. But youth, 
wri its intense sensibilities and passionate de- 
siresfrost-bitten in the first "winter of our 
discontent," in despair believes too surely that 
the bloom of life, and love, and hope, and joy is 
tilled forever, ai.d knowing nothing of it cannot 
be made to believe in Another flowering season 

"Oh! there lie *uch depths of woe 
In a young, blighted spirit ! Manhood rears 
\ haughty brow, and age nas done with tears 
BII' yt'ii'h b'.-v* <)<>w <> misery in m iz>- 
At MI- Hark c oud 'erra-"i ing ; u fre-h days." 



To see Winny, so suffering and so patient ! 
that was his daily, hourly anguish! Th^ few 
days following the morning I nave describe 
were severely cold, tfore snow and sleet. It 
was impossible to leave the mountain top, b - 
cause the hollows were filled up with hill* of 
snow, through which the tops of stunted Trees 
stuck out like little twigs. It was not impossi- 
ble that they might be buried in the enow, and 
perish there of cold or hunger. Their little 
stock of meal had been eked out to the last quart 
before the weather began to moderate, and the 
snow to thaw. Edgar had trapped snow birds 
all the time, and that had helped out their slen- 
der stock of provisions. And this was only the 
twentieth of January, and the two worst snow 
months were to come ! What would become of 
Wmny ? Edgar thought and thought, until it 
seemed his brain must give way ; he besought 
Winny to leave him, but Winny, in every thing 
else so docile, in this was more stubborn than 
a mule she could bear what Edgar could f Then 
in the silent hours of the night, while listening 
to her hacking cough, he prayed God fo- pardon 
for guidance Then he rande a resolution, and 
carried it into effect. He said nothing to Winny 
of his intention, but privately wrote a letter to 
Squire Darling, describing the situation ol his 
wife, his own utter inability to make her com- 
fortable, and imploring her father's sympathy 
and protection for her He wrote this letter, 
and bowed his head and wept! for his prdc 
his spirit, his heart was utterly bowed A 
broken! 

' Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears 
haughty men!" 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

THE END OF LOVE IN A COTTAGE. 

But here upon this earth beneath, 

There's not a spot where thou and I 
Together for an hour could breathe ! 

Farewell ! " 

Oh, in that word that fatal word howe'er 
We promise, hope, believe there breathes despair, 

Byron. 

It was a week from the sending off of the 1* 
ter. It was the cold gray of an early winter 
morning. Winny had been coughing and fever- 
ish all night, and had at last fallen into r sat 
death-like lethargy, for it was scarcely sleej 
which had become habitual to her. A 
left his pillow, and going to the window, openec 
the shutters and read a letter It was Squii 
Darling's answer. He had received it the even- 
ing before, had read it alo, and now, by that 
strange fascination that leads an unfortunate 
author to con over and over again a review in 
which he or she ia mercilessly hanged, drawn, 



SHANNONDALE. 

on God! on death f 



79 



quartered and dissected Ardenne read over again on God! on death f "There is many a crisis 
this diabolical letter : in life," says the eloquent De^ey, when wa 

OAK GROVE, January 25th, 18. need a faith like the martyr's to support us 

Monday, 12 o'clock, M. i There are hours in life like martyrdom as full 
MR RASCAL! So, it has turned out exactly of bitter anguish -as full of utter earthly deso- 
as I hoped believed and expected. You thong- , ution ; in which more than our H 
by this time to be leading the debates in our Na- 
tional Congress, pushed on by ' Squire D^ar- 
lins V influence, no doubt ! " The Honorable 
Edgar Ardenne, H. R ," at the very least, if no w 
IT S. S." My service to you, the Right Hm 
Edg.-r Ardenne, U. S. S.! I have a small claim 
before your honorable body ! Will it please yo . 
throw upon it the weight of your influence ? 
Stuff"! ! How dare you., Mr. Knave, after keep 
ing possession of my daughter more than a year 
offer to return her upan my hands ? Is that your 
pride ? However, 1 am glad, for the silly foops 
sake, that you have dared ! Enclosed you will 
find a hundred dollars take it, and be off with 
yourself! I shall come to fetch my daughter to 
morrow afternonn see that you do not cross my 
track, or ever approach my house, for in that 
case 1 will shoot you as quickly and with less 
remorse than I would kill a mad-dog. You are 
thenceforth to hold no communication with Win- 
ny by letter, word or message ! You know the 
terms, and you know ME. DARLING. 

Edgar read that letter over and over again, 
though each word stung him to the quick. Then 
he hastily put together a few clothes, and tied 
them in a bundle. Then he went below, lighted 
the fire, and, sitting down, wrote a long and elo- 
quent farewell letter to Winny. Then he enclo- 
sed it in the following note to Squire Darling : 

PINE CLIFFS, Jan. 26th, 18 . 
SQUIRE DARLING: Your terms are accepted. 
Enclosed you will find returned your own enclo- 
sure of a b.undre-1 dollars, also my fare well letter 
to Winny. Come for her at twelve. Hand it 
to her then ; for I do not wish her to know of 
her husband's flight till she is in ber father's 
arms. EDGAR ARDENNE 

Oh, he would rather have died, could his 
death have availed her, than have written this 
letter ! Death was more welcome than disho- 
nor, and he felt dishonored* The Demon of 
Suicide tempted, and might have triumphed over 
him, but he thought of Winny's anguish he 
thought of his mother's early prayers and les- 
sons he thought of the Scourged and Crucified, 
and the widow's son, the Christian mother's son 
was saved in the hour of his bitter trial yea, of 
his * agony and bloody sweat." It is compara- 
tively easy, for it is heroic in all men's eyes, to 
die for the loved ! Who will suffer dishonor for 
her? who will receive the burning smite of 
shame for her ? no one, scarcely, for there is 
no compensation, no consolation ; it is the mar- 
tyrdom without the crown the sacrifice of ut- 
ter, utter loss ! No wonder that great groans, 
which seemed to have split his heart in their pas- 
sage, burst from his mouth no wonder that 
great drops, which seemed to have started from 
his brain, rolled down his brow ! What an hour 



in which 

we feel that our very heart-strings are stretch- 
ed and lacerated on the rack of affliction ; in 
which life itself loses its value, and vre ask to 
die; in whose dread struggle and agony, life 
might drop from us and not be minded ! Oh f 
then must our cry, like that of Jetus, go up to 
the pitying heavens for help, and nothing bat 
the infinite and immortal can help us !" Such 
an hour had descended upon Ardenne the final 
parting with Winny her sorrows his oitm de- 
gradation each of these enough to sear his 
brain but all combined! no marvel that spasms 
convulsed his frame, and heaviest sighs rived his 
bosom ! 

The hour of direst misery passed at last it 
passed, and when Winny gently opened the stair- 
door he turned almost serenely to meet her 
smile. Winny baked the corn-cake. Both knew 
it was of the very last meal, but neither spoke of 
it. After breakfast Edgar said, 

I am going to Harper's Ferry to-day, my 
dear, to see if I cannot do something." 

" Oh ! I am glad to hear you say so, Eddie 
anything is better than the apathy you have suf- 
fered so many days ! When will you be back, 
dear Edgar ?" 

" When you see me, love certainly not to 
dinner," replied he evasively. 

He has forgotten that we have no dinner ! 1 
am glad that he has," thought Winny and she 
questioned him no more. He sat by Wmny, his 
arm half encircling her he looked at her so 
tenderly, spoke to her so gently. Winny quietly 
wondered at a manner that would hive been 
lover-like, had it not been so deeply sad, so 
nearly solemn and then he was so pale and 
rigid at times. Had not Winny been the most 
guileless of women, she must have suspected 
something wrong. The hours passed heavily 
yet swiftly along, like the last hours of a con- 
demned criminal ! It was near twelve o'clock ! 
his death-hour had come ! he must go ! he arose 
and drew on his over-coat, took his gloves, his 
hat approached her, stood at the back of her 
chair looking at her. 

How short the days are ! it is twelve o'clock 
already," said Winny, unconscious that she was 
dropping the handkerchief." 

Edgar started violently "Good-bye, Win- 
ny!" 

Good-bye, Edgar," replied Winny, care- 
lessly reaching her hand back to him without 
looking up. 

He shuddered sh* looked so calm so un- 
conscious '< Get up, Winnv ! oh <'ome \ \ want 



of bitterest tribulation it was ! How he called a kiss before I 50!" Smilingly Wmny stoo<l up, 



80 



SH VNNON DALE 



and h*> caught and strained her to bis b<> m. 
G } >i<-^s you. my Winnv ! Good-bye! Ok! 

!" and he was gone beiore the smile 

Winny's lips. 



had 



CHAPTER XXV. 

THE FATHER AND DAUGHTER. 

I could have stemmed misfortune's tide 

And borne the rich one's sneer, 
Have braved the haughty glance of pride, 

Nor shed a single tear. 
I could have smiled on every blow 

From life's full quiver thrown, 
While I might gaze on thee and know 

I should not be " alone." 

I could I think I could have brooked 

EVn for a time that thou 
Upon my fading face had looked 

With less* of love than now; 
For then I should at least have felt 

The sweet hope still my own, 
To win thee back, and, whilst I dwelt 

On earth, be not alone. 

Nay, dearest, 'tis too much, this heart 
Must break now thou art gone : 

It must not be ! we may not part ! 
I cannot live "alone !" Mrs. Dinnies. 

Winny watched him through the window as 
ae picked his way down the precipitous and icy 
mountain path, until he was lost to her view 
then, a cloud slowly gathered over her mind a 
weight settled on her heart. She struggled 
against this in vain blamed herself in vain. 
" Wny, how weak I am what a baby 1 am get- 
ting to be, to feel thus about Edgar's absence for 
a few hours nonsense! 5 ' but then she sighed 
heavily, from a despair she could neither escape 
nor under stand. She walked restlessly about the 
room a crumpled letter lay upon the floor she 
passed and trod on it several times at any other 
time she would have stooped and picked it up, 
for she was an orderly little housekeeper ; but 
now at last she kicked it out of the way and pur- 
sued her walk. Restless, restless still, she wan- 
dered from the kitchen into the shed, turned 
over all her little stock of cooking utensils, try- 
ing to conquer her depression by seeking some 
useful employment. They were all right. Then 
she went, up stairs and over-hauled her own and 
Edgar's slender wardrobe. They were in per- 
fect repair. There was nothing for Winny to do 
unless she had possessed money to buy new ma- 
terials to work upon j but now, in tumbling over 
Edgar's clothes, she missed gome of them from 
a closet that served them as a wardrobe. Far 
from suspecting the truth, she said, "Ah! poor 
Edgar, he has secretly taken some of his clothes 
to sell or to pledge ; secretly, because he did not 
wuh to hurt my feelings ; what a good heart he 



has ! oh ! a heart where one could lie down in 
security for ever !" then she came down stairs. 
Again the crumpled letter lay in her path, again 
she kicked it away. Winny thought she had 
plenty of opportunity now to practice patience, 
and learn her allotted lesson "TO WAIT," and 
with something like a newly kindled love of the 
work, Winny set herself to tne exercise- Noon 
passed, day waned, Winny grew hungry, and 
there was nothing to eat; she walked about 
again restlessly, once more with her little foot 
twitched that soiled and crumpled, haunting let- 
ter out of her path. She sat down at last, fatigued 
in body, but still restless and active in mind, 
Edgar must be here now in a few minutes I 
will mend the fire !'" and jumping up again, she 
went to the door and looked out. There was no 
sign of Edgar yet. But the hill was abrupt just 
at the top; though unseen, he might be very near. 
She went into the shed and brought a small arm- 
ful of dry wood, such as she could bring. The 
fire was very low. She laid down her wood 
upon the hearth, and looked around for some- 
thing to start it with. Even waate paper was 
scarce with her. Her eyes lighted upon 
crumpled letter she stooped and picked it up, 
and opened to examine it previous to burning, 
when a sharp rap at the door startled her, and 
she dropped the paper ! but before she had made 
a step forward to open the door, it was pushed 
open, and her stout father, in his brown surtout, 
furred cap, fox-skin gloves and heavy riding- 
whip, stood in the middle of the room stamping 
the snow from his boots and over-alls. With an 
inarticulate cry of joy, Winny's first irapul 
was to spring forward, but something jerked 
back, and she stood fixed upon the spat wher 
she had dropped the letter ; she tried to 
but her heart beat too violently; she lost her 
strength, and tottered off to the nearest chair 
and sank into it, while still the stout squire 
stamped and blew, apparently paying more at- 
tention to the condition of his over-alls., than to 
his little daughter. With a great effort, with a 
sudden dart, Winny sprang forward and was at 
his feet clasping his knees, burying her face 
against him and gulping out 

" Father I Oh, may the Lord Almighty blest 
you for coming. Father, forgive me ! I do love 
you so dearly ! Oh ! I am so glad to see you ! 
I nearly died of joy to see you oh ! and terror, 
too ! Father ! say you forgive me ! I know by 
your coming that you have pardoned me, dear 
father, but just say so !" 

Stop, Winny ! Let me go y you absurd girh 
don't you see you are hindering me from stamp- 
ing the snow off, and that you are getting it aH 
over yourself leave off your nonsense and go 
and get ready well ! come ! do you hear me ?" 

Sir ?" aeked Winny, relasing her father, who 
immediately threw himself heavily into a chair 
that creaked under him. < Oh, father ! dear fa- 



8HANNONDALE. 



81 



ther ! I am so sensible of your goodness I want 
to hug y xi, I want to kiss you and tell you " 

"Come, Winny; no fiddle- stickiana, if you 
please ! go and get ready I said." 

" Get ready, sir ?" 

" Yes ! ready, ready, READY ! is that distinct 
enough ? and be quick, too, for the sun is nearly 
down!" 

" Ready for what, my father ?" 

For what ? why for to return with me to 
Oak Grove, where we will see if we can keep a 
closer watch on you than we did two years ago, 
and see if we cannot try to prevent you from 
running away with any more lackeys/' 

Winny's pale cheek flushed at this indignity, 
and withal her face assumed a puzzled and a 
troubled expression she did not move of course. 

Come ! come ! will you hurry ? It is a long 
ride from here to Oak Grove, and we have no 
moon. 1 have brought Sea Foam, and a stuffed 
ar.d quilted saddle-cloth for your accommodation, 
Ma<iem Blood and Thunder ! look at you now ! 
Fou are a pretty object to carry home to Oak 
Grove, are you not now ? Zounds ! and the 
d 1 ! I have a constitution of iron and ada- 
mant to stand the infernal trials you put me 
to! By the bones of St. Magdalene, mis- 
tress., you shall enter a monastery within a few 
weeks from this ! and I will leave every cent of 
money I have on earth to found a hospital for re- 
formed courtezans ! Come ! why don't you 
move ?" 

Burning shame and indignation struggled with 
the joy and love Winny had first experienced on 
seeing her father. 

< Well ! well ! the d 1 ! how you try my pa- 
tience ! Will you get ready, or will you not ?" 

" Father ! if 1 understand you as inviting me 
to Oak Grove, I thank you, but cannot go now. 
Edgar went to Harper's Ferry this morning, and 
has not returned yet I am looking for him 
every instant," and as she said that, suddenly 
darted into Winny's heart a terrible fear, lest 
^Ardenne should enter while her father was in 
this insulting mood, and that some scene of vio- 
lence would ensue. This fear was only instanta- 
neous, however. It was put to a violent death 
by a cruel certainty. 

At the end of her last reply the squire laughed 
out loud and long. In her shame and confusion, 
Winny had stooped and picked up the crumpled 
letter, and was unconsciously turning it about, 
when she recognized her father's hand-writing 
in the superscription to Ardenne. She nervously 
opened and saw " Mr. Rascal !" rapidly devour- 
ing the poisonous contents ; Winny crumpled it 
in her hand, grew white as marble, and sank 
into her chair, while the squire continued his 
uproarious laughter. All this transpired in a 
few seconds. At the end of his noise the squire 
said;, while the tears of laughter ran down his 
fair, rosy cheeks 



" So ! you don't know that my knave has run 
away and left you ! Just as I always expected 
him to do 1 knew as long as you were a pretty 
girl, and a healthy girl, that he would stay with 
you, but when you came to this he would be off I 
Ha! I might have told you eo ! and now if you 
want farther proof here! read his own letter! 
the skulk asked me to give it to you, and f do it 
only because it is a good-bye-and-forever affair !" 

Winny took the letter, put it in her bosom, 
and rose up. 

" Why don't you read your letter ? Where 
are you going ?" 

' To get ready." 

The words were so hard and curt, the lips so 
white that spoke them, that Squire Darling 
squinted at his daughter with something ap- 
proaching to intelligent scrutiny as she passed 
out. Very soon she returned in her riding habit 
and hat. He got up. 

" My God, how white and still you are, Winny I 
a moving statue ! Well ! I suppose its its its 
d the fellow ! Come along." 

He set her in the saddle, seated her comfort- 
ably, gave the reins into her cold hands pitied 
the li'tle hands, but swore to himself that he 
would not even press them and they rode on 
down the mountain pain. In an hour they reach- 
ed the foot, and arrived at the level road that lay 
along the banks of the river. 

" Why don't you read your letter now ? as we 
go along slowly you have an opportunity." 

" I do not care to read it." 

Ha ! is it so? Perhaps you do not care for 
the knave himself? Is it so, Winny ? Say that t 
my child, and you are indeed restored to your 
father's heart > as well as home !" 

Winny's blue lips parted t>ver her glistening 
teeth, but she said nothing. They had now 
reached the ferry-boat. 

Ride in first, father," said Winny, and Squire 
Darling rode into the boat, and jumping from his 
saddle, began to pat and soothe his young horse. 

" He is restive, Winny ! afraid of rushing water! 
afraid of everything ! He would be a fine horse 
if he were only spirited; however, he is scarcely 
well broken yet. Come in, Winny; you need 
not dismount." 

But the color had come back to Winny's 
cheek, and she turned her horse, stooped, patted 
and spoke to him ; slightly raised herself in her 
stirrup, threw out and caught the reins back 
with a sudden jerk, and sped like lightning down 
the road towards Harper's Ferry, leavit g on the 
wind a "Good-bye, father! I go to Edgar!" 

That settled it! First he thought that the 
horse had run away with her, and had looked 
after her in fright, but before he could prepare 
to follow, here comes the wind with its burden, 
and now he is for a moment spell bound with 
amazement now growling. 
Curses on that deceitful huafzy, I say ! and 



82 

curses on all Eve's deceitful brood for ever and 
ever! May the devil fly away with them all! 
amen!" And with such speed as age and fat 
could make, he tumbled up into his saddle, and 
started in pursuit. 

On flew Winny on her white horse a white 
spirit gleaming through the air ! & silver-white 
cloud driven by the wind! 

On trundled the stout squire on his stout horse, 
lashing, and kicking, and jerking and spurring 
hallooing, and cursing, and swearing rider and 
horse all mixed up together in the tumbling 
struggle forward ! 

On sped Winny! the gait of her beautiful 
horse a succession of flying curves so smooth and 
swift she scarcely felt the motion ! She only 
saw the rosy nostrils in the air ! the silky mane 
blowing ! the slender white ankles and jet black 
hoofs dart out in their lightning semi circles ! 
she only saw the trees and rocks reel past ! 

Oh ! my lovely spirit horse ! you are indeed 
a spirit ! a fairy ! my beauty ! my pet !" said the 
silly Winny, in a fever of gratitude, to her flying 
steed ! 

On rumbled and tumbled and struggled the 
squire and his roan steed ; he and his horse a red 
and brown, noisy, discordant chaos ! trotting, 
rearing, jumping, dancing anything but going 
along i 

This devil of a horse ! he has a gait 
like a churn dasher, strait up and 
down and never forward!" jumped syllable 
by syllable from our squire's jolted bosom, as 
the horse churned him up and down. Then with 
a furious jerk at the bit, and plunge of the spurs, 
his beast sprang forward, reared up, and in a 
moment our squire was bounced spinning in the 
air, his stout legs and arms flying, and the next 
instant his ejput form was stretched upon the 
road several yards ahead ! while our horse turnr 
ed calmly around, and churned up and down, 
tumbling towards home, apparently very well 
satisfied with his performance. 



CHAPTER XX VI. 

7HE RACE AND GOAL. 

She stands, as stands the s-trir-ken deer, 
Checked midway in the fearful chase, 
When bursts upon its eye and ear 
The gaunt fjjay robber baying near 
Between it and its hiding-place 
While still behind, with yell and blow, 
Sweeps like a storm the coming foe. 

J. G. Whittier. 

Away ! away ! sped horse and rider, on the 
winss of lightning t Away ! away ! like a white 
meteor glancing through the dark path. She 
overtook and swept past a carriage too swiftly 
to see the arms of the Summerneld's painted upon 
its panels. Awayl away! as rock and tree, 



SHANNONDALE. 



hill and valley whirled, reeled behind. Away ! 
away ! towards the Western horizon, where the 
lofty, deep blue mountains swept round half a 
sphere. Away ! away ! towards an opening, 
cleft from summit to base of the mountain, 
which let in a flood of glory from the 
level hun, long and broad, and of blinding light, 
like an angePs pathway to the earth This 
was the distant view of Harper's Ferry, with 
the setting sun behind. Away! away! she flew 
up this broad ray of light, that laded before 
her flying steed as a sunbeam, dimmed by a fly- 
ing white cloud ! She has gained the goal as 
the sun has set! Sbe has reached Harper's 
Ferry. She has thrown herself from her horse, 
and, unheeding the group of low and drinking 
loafers, filling up the rustic porch, and staring 
at her, she has darted into the little dark pas- 
sage she has ran against Hettie, who receives 
her in her arms- and she has totally lost the 
power of utterance, while the alarming palpita- 
tion of her heart could be felt, and almost hearc 
At length, 

Edgar ! Edgar !" she gasped- 

"My dear Mrs Ardenne, come into my room,' 
said Hettie, supporting her fast failing form. 

"Edgar! Edgar !" 

My dear Mrs. Ardenne ! you you] 
will hurt yourself! You alarm me so much !- 
Father!" 

Edgar 

" Oh ! ma'am, dear young lady, don't I Fatl 
1 say !" 

EDGAR!" 

"Oa! Mrs. Ardenne, he has gone! did 
you know it? He left in the stage for Pittsburg 
an hour ago ! Fat'ner ! Father, I say ! come 
here ! quick ! quick ! My God ! she's dead !" 

With one long, long, low wail, as of a It 
harp-string snapped a last heart-string broken- 
with the last life dying on its sound, Wii 
sank slowly over Hettie's arms, and sli] 
thence to the ground. 

"Father! Farmer, 1 say!" still screai 
Hettie, trying to raise the body. 

The little, round landlord rolled himself 
singing out 

Waat the deuce is ailing of you, Hettii 
squealirg there like a stuck pig ?" 

"On, lather! Mrs. Anlenne !" 

Heigh ! what ? There I said so !" 

" She came atter him, to stop him !" 

" I see that ! 1 ain't blind, Hettie ! / sc 
so ! I told him so .' blowed if 1 didn't I" 
the little fellow, stupid with amazement, 
withstanding. 

Oh, father ! sht's dead ! she's dead !" 

No she ain't f she's in a fainty fit ! or 
swound! Let me feel her pulse! No pulse I 
Her temples no not a singly beaming vein! 
Put your hand in her bosom, Hettie, and feel if 
her heart beats." 



SHANNON DALE. 



83 



"No! no' no ! father!" said Hettie, nervously 
running her hand hither and thither, like a 
lightened rabbit, in her friend's bosom. "No 
rather ! no I it is as still as still as anything 
Oh, my goodness, sh&s dead! she's dead! Fa 
Iher ! don't stand there, leaning on your knees 
and staring your eyes out don't! Help me to 
carry her in, and lay her on the bed ! Don't you 
see she's dead! why don't you send for the 
doctor? Don't you see she's dead!" exclaimec 
Hettie, just as upset and as crazed as her father 
was Btupified. 

"No! she is not dead!" said a deep, sweet 
voice, near the group. 

Hettie turned, to see a gentleman in the long 
frock and square cap of a Catholic clergyman, 
standing near her. 

Just then the carriage that Winny had passed 
in her mad flight rolled into the yard. The lit- 
tle host, at the sound of wheels, and by the force 
of habit, started up to go and meet it, but 
checked the impulse, and would have raised 
Winny in his arms, but that the gentleman who 
hai last spoken, now said 

"Go meet your new guests, Mr. Smilie, I 
will attend this young lady," and raising her 
lightly, he looked to Hettie for direction. 

"This way, sir," said Hettie, leading the 
way into a little chamber. 

" Indeed he is the very image of Miss Sum- 
merfield ! He looks enough like Miss Sammer- 
field to be her father," said Hettie, to herself, as 
she gazed at the stranger, unconsciously, with 
such intensity that he fixed his large shadowy 
eyes, with their slowly returning light upon her 
an instant, and then gave his attention to the 
recovering of the poor oe prostrate before him. 
la the meantime Mr. Smilie had gone into the 
yard to receive the new arrival just as the car- 
riage stopped. The footman jumped off, opened 
the door, let down the steps, and assisted Mrs. 
Summerfield to alight. Cap in hand, and bowing 
low, my little host rolled forward to meet her. 
"Is Mr. Ve'lemont here, sir?" 
" Not as I know of, madam ! A strange gen- 
tleman a priest, is here ^ust this instant ap 
peared and that's all I know of him don't 
know how he came, nor where he came from, 
nor what his name is he may be the gentleman 
in question ! walk in, madam I Here, Hettie, 
jmy child!" That call was mechanical also 
. The little host always made an ostentatious 
show of calling out * Here, Hettie, my daugh 
ter," whenever the arrival of ladies or a lady 
gave him an excuse to do so as if he were al- 
ways proud of having a " Hettie, my daughter," 
to sing after. 

"Where is Mr. Vellemont? Let him know 
that 1 am here," said Mrs. Summerfield, when 
jj she reached the parlor. 

Yes, madam ! yes ! you mean the gentle- 
man I told you of?" 



" Certainly ! Mr. Veilemont, ttie priest, who 
has been appointed to assist Father Burleigh, 
who is too infirm to perform his duties any 
longer." 

Oh, yes, madam ! I see ! Will you, madam, 
have your horses taken from the carriage ?" 

"No, Smilie, I return immediately to Red- 
Stone, having come only to meet and fetch over 
Mr. Vellemont." 

" Yes, madam ! there is another person here, 
who" 

Hurry, Smilie, if you please, it is late." 

"Yes! yes, ma'am! yes!" smiled the obliging 
little host, hastening out to do her bidding. 

Winny was at length shocked from her insen- 
sibility by a fierce, riving pang, like forked and 
scattering lightning ! followed by another and 
another, in maddening strength and rapidity, un- 
til her senses were again whirled away, and 
lost in this ghastly storm of physical agony ! 
Then followed a sense of sudden relief exhaus- 
tion then lethargy death annihilation. From 
this trance she awoke at last with a feeling 
of benign repose of inexpressible, exquisite, 
ineffable ease. The soft, elastic swells of a 
down-bed and pillows em braced her fragile form. 
A subdued, an even light fell sweetly on her 
eyes. A gently reviving fragrance filled the 
room. The soothing murmur of distant waters 
was heard. And all the shaded light the de- 
licate fragrance the murmuring sound all 
came subdued to the senses of her who lay there 
half lost in a bathos of ineffable delight. She 
awoke to a sense of almost voluptuous repose 
to a quiet, delicious, animal life she was like a 
new born babe, waking from its first sleep in its 
soft cradle thought, memory, reason, had not 
stirred yet. , She had not moved yet, though her 
sweet blue eyes were half open, and floating in 
the shade of a vague, luxurious vision. This 
was beatitude. In this dreamy heaven of soft 
support, of shade, of murmur, and of faint fra- 
grance, she was now conscious of something 
more tangible than either it was a touch, 
a warmth a gentle, but thrilling clasp upon her 
left hand, that lay upon the counterpane. She 
felt that this touch had brought her back from 
death that this warmth had given life this 
gentle clasp had galvanized her deadened nerves, 
and started her still blood into circulation again 
that the little sinews of her small arm were 
delicate electric wires, conducting the life of 
that touch to heart and brain, and waking them 
to consciousness. She was awake now! life 
was upon her again ! the world before her once 
more ! But she received it with the feebleness 
of a young infant. She turned her swimming 
glance the dark, shrouded figure, and pale, spi- 
ritual face of the silent watcher did not cause 
her either surprise or joy she was too weak to 



84 



SH ANNO NDALE. 



feel either to feel anything but affection, as 
she murmured, in a soft, low tone 
" G andmother." 

"Wnat, my baby?" replied the watcher, 
catching to the side of the bed, and helping her- 
self up and bending over a lace full of simple 
love, upon the languid one. 

Both seemed too feeble, in mind and body, one 
from illness, one from age, to feel any strong 
emotion at this meeting. 

Grandmother." 

Well, hon^y ?" 

"Is this you?" 

Yes, honey, this is me." 

" Kiss- me, grandmother." 

" Yes, honey," and the old lady bent over and 
pressed a kiss on her lips. 

"Bless me, grandmother." 

God love my haby." 

Now I'll go to sleep," and she closed her 
eyes again, to open them shortly. 

"Grandmother." 

" What, honey ?" 

" Am I awake, or asleep ?" 

I think you are awake, hbney, ain't you ?' 

Yes, I reckon so but where am I ?" 

"In Margaret's room, honey." 

Where ?" 

" In Margaret's room, you know, honey." 

" At Red-Stone Hall ?" 

"Yes, honey." 

" Well, good-night, grandmother I am going 
to sleep, now," and a second time she closed her 
eyes, and dream and reality mingled together in 
her vague consciousness. Presently she awoke 
again it was dark now, except where a feeble 
yellow ray from the hearth showed where the 
night taper burned. -She murmured "Grand- 
mother." 

" Do you want anything, dear Winny ?" 

"Who spoke?" 

" 1, your Cousin Imogene how do you feel, 
Winny?" 

So nice." 

" I am so glad can you eat something now, 
dear?" 

"Imogene!" 

Well, my cousin ?" 

" Was grandmother here, just now, or was it 
a pleasant dream ?" 

She was here, just now. We sent the car- 
riage for her as soon as you arrived. We knew 
that we could induce her to come, at last, it she 
heard that you were here." 

Where is grandmother ?" 

She has been sitting by you all day, but 
now we have persuaded her to go to bed, and 
let me take her place by your bedside." 

Where is Edgar, Imogene ?" 

No voice answered, nor was the question now 
lepeated. Alter a few moments 

" Will you take anything, dearest Winny ?" 



" I I want Edgar to come to me so much- 
tell him to come." 

No voice replied for some seconds, and then - 

"I do not know where he is, Winny." 

" Send some one to look, then." 

" Where did you leave him.) Winny ?" 

The feeble one evidently struggled for clearer 
memory- -she struggled into recollection sbud- 
dered groaned. Imogene stooped over her. 

" Winny ! will you look at your child your 
little daughter ?" 

Now the full light of memory and understand- 
ing broke broadly upon Winny, and she remem- 
bered and knew all ! 

"Dear Winny, will you look at your little 
daughter ?" 

Yes yesyes," sighed Winny. 

Imogene lifted her gently up- -supporting her 
little shoulders by piling pillows behind her. 
Then she went to a crib, near by, and lifting a 
light burden from it, came and laid it on the bed 
before the youthful mother. She unwrapped the 
flannel wrappers, displaying the little silky 
black hair, folded features, shut up fast in 
sleep the little hands, folded together and 
pressed under the chin the embodiment of per- 
fect innocence with perfect helplessness Winny 
gazed on her child a long time, with her thin 
hands clasped together, in perfect silence, until 
the tears began to gather in her eyes, and to 
roll down her face faster and faster they ga- 
thered and fell faster and faster until Imo- 
gene said 

" Do not weep so, dearest Winny !" 

She attempted to reply she failed in utt< 
ance, shook her head, while the tears poui 
from her eyes. They fell upon the baby's it 
who lifted its silky lashes-, and the large, 
eyes of Edgar Ardenue gazed unconsciously 
her from the face of her child. 

" Your tears are not all bitter, young moth< 
you have a great comfort there," said the dee 
melodious voice of Imogene. 

The babe began to move, uneasily, and tt 
Imogene again spoke 

" You have an exquisite joy at hand, Winny- 
do. you know it? You must nurse your baby- 
she needs it now take her to your bosom, Wii 
ny, ah, Winny, surely this is a profound ha{ 
ness do not weep God is bending from tt 
skies, and looking at us, while I place the bat 
He has sent you, in your arms be grateful 
be hopeful 4ift your eye, and lift your heat 
and thank Him for the sweet gift, as you lay 
to your bosom." 

Winny received the child in silence she ht 
not spoken one word since her full memory r 
turned. If now she experienced the profound j 
oys of maternity, it was so deepened) so blended L 
with sorrow, remorse and despair, that not one! 
'aint smile, not one ray of pleasure lighted heij 
features. She was very quiet. She did noi | 



SHANNON DALE. 



85 



hudder, or groan, or even sigh, now. Her tears, 
when they fell, rolled silently down her cheeks. 
Poor child ! she had missed the joy of the two 
sweetest epochs in h< 3 r life her bridal and her 
maternity both had been darkened and sadden- 
ed by the sternest sorrow. 

Several days passed in which Winny could 
scarcely be said to live she was so still, pale, 
apathetic. She never testified the least surprise 
at finding herself where she was, the least grati- 
tude for Mrs. and Miss Summerfield's kindness, 
or the least pleasure at the reunion with her 
grandmother ; she ate so little that they gave her 
copious doses of elixir vitriol to stimulate the 
needful appetite she received the medicine half 
unconsciously, and took her meals mechanically. 
The only signs of sanity she ever gave were the 
still tears of profound tenderness and sorrow she 
would drop upon her babe the glance of regret- 
ful affection she would cast on her grandmo- 
ther, or the wistful inquiring gaze she would 
sometimes fix upon Miss Summerfield's pallid 
irow and haggard face. It was in vain they 
tried to interest her in passing events, or to en- 
gage her in conversation evil and good came 
ilike only she would shiver at a burst of sun- 
Ihine, shudder at a peal of laughter. Sometimes 
mogene would attempt to read to her, but it was 
>nly the profound and elevating the strong and 
ife-giving thoughts of those who had suffered 
ind outlived and sanctified to themselves sor- 
ows deep as hers.. 

One morning, while they sat together, in the 

:hamber appropriated to Winny's use, Imogene's 

neiodions and saddened voice was heard adding 

s " music" to the following b autiful words 

And now as thou sittest there I will speak to 
hee; and I say though sighs will burst from 
b,y almost broken heart, yet when they come 
ack in echoes from the silent walls, let them 
each thee. Let them tell thee that God wills not 
hy destruction, thy suffering for its own sake; 
*il;s thee not, cannot will thee any evil ; how can 
hat thought come from the bosom of Infinite 
ove ? No, let thy sorrows tell thee that God 
trills thy repentance, thy virtue, thy happiness, 
hy preparation for infinite happiness 1 Let that 
hought spread holy light through thy darkened 
.hamber. That which is against thee is not as 
hat which is for thee. Calamity, a dark speck 
n thy sky, seemeth to be against thee ; but God's 
joodness, the all-embracing light and power of 
he universe, forever lives and shin s around thee 
tnd for thee. 

" ' Evil and good before Him stand 
Their minions to perform.' 

?he angel of gladness is there ; but the angel of 
ffliction is there, too ; and br>th alike for good. 
*Iay the angel of gladness visit us as often as is 
ood for us ! 1 pray for it. But that angel of 
ffliction ! what shall we ay to it? Shall we 
8 



not say, < come thou, too, when our Father wil- 
leth; come Thou when need is; with saddened 
brow and pitying eye come; and take us on Thy 
wings ; and bear us up to hope, to happiness, to 
heaven; to that presence where is fullness of 
joy, to that right hand where there re pleasures 
forever more!" 

Long, long had Winny's tears been frozen, now 
at this sun of sympathy, eloquence, inspiration, 
they melted and ran down her face. Still her at- 
tention was not fixed only arrested unsettled 
and wandering in sad reveries and fancies, for 
turning her tear- bathed face to Imogece, she 
murmured, 

"Are you then that Angel of Sorror 'with 
saddened brow and pitying eye ?' Are you that 
Angel of Sorrow who presided at my marriage 
and presided over my maternity I do not say 
'come./ but depart from me, Angel of Sorrow, 
for the shadow of yorur wing hides from me the 
face of GodV> 

One day in a more rational and practical mood 
she asked 

" Imogene was no effort made to recall him? 
I mean because I was so ill, go near death, 
Imogene, and you were so good I" 

My dear, yes we wrote to Wheeling by the 
very next mail, and thinking that perhaps he 
might not get the letter soon enough did not 
wait the next stage, but despatched a messen- 
er on horse-back to Wheeling for him. How- 
ever before our messenger arrived he had left 
Wheeling no one knew whither. " 
" And so you abandoned the chase 1" 
" Yes, my dear Winny, but not the purpose. 
Vty mother caused notices to be inserted in all 

he papers throughout the country to * E r 

A e, late of J efferson county, Va.,' recalling 

dm on important business. As yet, Winny, 
hese notices have been unproductive. How- 
ever, only a few weeks have passed as yet. The 
notices are to be continued until further orders, 
and he cannot fail to meet one or more of them." 
" Unless he has lost himself in the boundless 
Western wilderness, which is the most likely of 
all." 

There was a coldness and quietness in her 
tone and manner that proved Winny was no* 
herself yet. 

" He was crazy, Jmogene, mad, maddened by 
seeing my privations and fearing for me or he 
would not have thrown me into worse affliction 
by flying." 

To turn her thoughts away, Miss Summerfield 
said, 

Your father is much better, Winny." 
No answer. 

" I told you several times that in pursuing yon 
he had been thrown from his horse and severely 
injured." 
No answer. 



86 



SHANNONDALE. 



" Are you not glad he is recovered, my dear?' 
"No." 

Wfat, Winny, not glad to hear your fathe 
is better?" 
"No." 

You shock me, Winny !" 
You should not have asked me, then. My 
father took my heart between his large strong 
hands and pressed it until it was numb. A 
first I screamed with the pain, but now I feel no 
more it is numb! Indeed it is, Imogene it is 
strange but it is numb, stunned, silent !" 

While even they spoke old Gelly entered with 
a letter in her hand. 

" Mornin' Miss Winny how you do to-day ? 
Here's a letter from ole marster. Uncle Killus 
is down stairs long o' de carriage as the old gen- 
t'lum sont. He's come to carry you back long 
o j him. Oie marster has been very bad, Killus 
Bays he's demented, too, of all his syis, he says 
-done had Priest Bellmont long o' him night an 
day ef any man could pervert a sinner from the 
arrows of his course it is Priest Bellmont. Kil- 
lus says how he would only give him dissolution 
on certain perditions an* Killus says how it 
wur something 'cerning Marse Edgar and Miss 
Winny, an' somethin' bout marryin' of Miss 
Sina Hinton " 

" Be careful, Angela, you talk at random ! and 
for Achilles, I suppose he has been at his old 
tricks of listening at key holes and adding to all 
that he hears there !" 

Yes, honey. Well, honey > I hope it's true 
that's all. Now, Miss Winny, when you done a 
readin' of your letter jes ring de beil an' let 
some of them lazy trollopes come an' 'tend to 
you I got to go an' give out dinner." 
Did you say Uncle Kill was down stairs ?" 
Yes, bonsy." 
Tell him to coirfe up." 
< Yes, honey." 

And the old woman left the room. Winny's 
eyes fell again upon the letter in her hands. It 
ran thus 

Oak Grove, March 1st, 18. 
Winny, my child ! 

How are you, my dear child? 
Your baby is six weeks old are you well enough 
to come to me ? I have sent the large close car- 
riage witti the down pillars and eider down com- 
forter tnat was your mother's. 1 have had your 
mother's r >om fixed up for you very nicely and 
1 have engaged your favorite, Hettie Smilie, here 
as your companion. Hettie has thought of every- 
thing that I nad forgotten. That beautiful satin- 
wood en h that was your grandmother's, and then 
yonr mother's, is placed by your bed. You shall 
have your choice of all the young mulatto girls 
on the plantation as a nurse for your chili). I 
shall have a garden chair for you to take exer- 
cise in until you are able to ride out every day. 
I wouM bei d Hettie to ride home witi' you, only 
you will need to lie down in the carriage, and 
there is no more than enough room for the pil- 
lows, yourself and baby. I would come for you 
myselt,my child, but 1 am as yet unable to leave 



my chair. I have been very ill, my child ! very, 
very ill at death's door yes, at death's door, 
Winny ! 1 am so strong in constitution, and al- 
ways had such robust health, that I did not know 
what it was to tace death until it came. Come 
to me, my child. I hold out my arms to you. 1 
want to hug my little yellow haired girl again. 
Your father, grieving for you, 

JARED DARLING. 

If you had seen the face of Winny as she 
this letter the strange, cold, sardonic smile that 
quivered on ;her lips, you might have guesst 
what a frightful change WRONG had wrought in hei 
angel disposition. Sne opened the sheet ar 
turning the blank page, asked Imogene to ler 
her her pencil and Miss Summerfield, taking 
the gold pencil from her belt, handed it to Winny, 
watching with uneasiness the frosty smile 
the girl's lips as she wrote. Winny finished he 
note written with a pencil on the reverse side 
her father's letter, and folding, directed it. SI 
laid it down on the corner of the dressing-tabl 
ready for Kill. Imogene took it up. 

May I read it, Winny ?" 

She nodded an indifferent assent. Imogene 3 
sentiment of reverence made her shudder as si 
read 

" When you have found and restored to me the 
life of my life, my husband when you will 
tend to him an equal welcome with myself th< 
I will come to you and not till then. You ne 
send no more letters, for I will receive 
fro-m you except through the hands of Edgs 
Ardenne. You know the terms know me ' 

WlNNY ARDENNE " 

" Horrible ! most horrible ! Winny, nothii 
nothing that your father could have done to y< 
or your husband should have provoked you 
write a note like that ! 3J 

" I am not provoked. I wrote a cold fact." 

" This note shall not go," said Miss Summe 
field, slowly tearing it up. 

" You will have to reply to Squire Darlinj 
then, for / can write no other letter for an] 
other letter would be false." 

Then I will reply to my uncle's note " anc 
going to her room Imogene wrote the fol'ow- 
ng 

Dear Sir- 
Mrs. Ardenne, though mnch bett 
and still improving, is not in a condition to com< 
o you. We hope she will he in a few days- 
ler child is well an.d grows finely. We hope 
see you at Red Stone Hall as soon as your c( 
valescence will reimit it, 

V^ry respectfully, 
Monday morning I. SUMMERFIELD. 

Sealing this letter, Imogene returned to Win- 
ny's chamber. She found her in conversation 
with old Kill, who was almost crying for d 
at again seeing Miss Winny." He received 
he note from Miss Summerfield, and turning to 
Winny said, 

" Now, Miss Winny, honey, what must I tell 
old marster you say ?" 



SHANNONDALE 



87 



Miss Summerfield ha 3 answered your mas- 
ter's note uncle." 

" Hey ? yes f sure 'r.ough I knows that but 
you, honey what must I tall him you say to ole 
marsrer ?" 

Nothing " 

Not hiP 'he' ! how that ?" 

< You must go now, Achilles, Mrs. Ardenne 
must lift down." 

" Yes, honey ! yes, yes, chile. I only waitin' 
for her say somethin' for me to tell to ole mars- 
ter." 

"The note has everything, Achilles." 

" Yes, honey ! yes, je^ ! I knows that, too. I 
only waitin' " 

<J Will you do as I desire, Achilles?" saia Miss 
Summerfield, with that invincible air of haughti- 
ness and authority which she sometimes but 
very seldom assumed. Old Kill bowed lowly, 
tumed around hesi r atingly,and left the chamber. 

" Now, Winny !" said MissSummerfieid, when 
she had dismissed the old man, " now, Winny, 
recline on this lounge, while I sit here and talk 
to you. Do you intend to cultivate that sort of 
spirit towards \our father?" 

" I do not cultivate it. He drove Edgar, poor 
Edgar, who was so young mad, and to an net of 
madness never in his senses would he have left 
me. I feel, as I said or to speak more truly, I 
have ceased to fed as I told you before. 1 can- 
not help it." 

" Winny !" said she, passing her hand once or 
twice across her brow, as though she was con- 
scious of speaking as much of herself as of ano- 
ther; " Wiany, it is difficult to govern thought; 
nearly impossible to govern feeling ; but ACTION 
is, with few exceptions, entirely under our con 
trol. You cannot, perhaps, at one*, conquer and 
expel that impious feeling of resentment." 

" It is not resentment it is no feeling at 
all." 

"It is the result of resentment, however! 
Well f then, you cannot force a filial affection that 
you do not feel and it would be wrong to affect 
what has no existence ; but, Winny, you can 
pay your father filial attention and duty, still ; 
yon can, as soon as you are able, return to his 
house." 

Imogene, if I weary you, I can return to my 
mountain cabin." 

" We have not deserved that at your lips, 
cousin." 

" Well, then, do not speak to me of returning 
to my father's house ! Imogene, look at me ! I 
am not th.e same being that I was two months 
ago ! yet you talk to me without regard to the 
revolution in which I have lost my individuality! 
I once told you I loved this earth better than 
Heaven that I always wished to stay just here 
on earth, and never wished a better heaven! I 
love this earth no longer ! I wonder how I ever 
thought it fair ! It is hideous ! it is horrible ! a 



place of clouds and storms ! of floods and earth- 
quakes ! The very boasted sun-shine is nothing 
but a scorching heat, or a blinding light 1 loathe 
the sight of nature! 1 shut it out! LIFE! Once 
I said 1 loved life above all things ! Now, 1 hate 
it above all things ; it is lull of disease and sin, 
of pain and sorrow, of persecution and suffering, 
of crime and remorse; oh! it is full! brimful 
and running over of agony of body and anguish of 
mind ! Oh ! I loathe it ! take it from me ! Give 
me the peace of nonentity." 

" < The peace of nonentity,' " replied Imogene, 
as though she, too, were tempted to sigh for it- 
"But, dearest Winny, you are not changed, only 
your environments. The earth is the same at 
midnight that it was at noon only the light is 
gone Night has darkened all your spirit, Win- 
ny. but you are not changed !" 

"Am 1 not? Listen! You know for yon 
have heard it from others that I carry in my 
bosorn a slow death wound, inflicted by my 
father ! Well, for that [ never felt a single spark 
of resentment although I nave suffered by that 
wound. Well, no matter ! that is a secret be- 
tween me and my Heavenly Father B;i r He 
drove Edgar mad, and to a deed of madness 
ana never, never will I see my father until Edgar 
brings us together never, never will 1 re- 
ceive a letter from him that is not brought by 
Edgar." 

" You look your father's child now, Winny ! 
Nevertheless you must listen to me. Never mind 
your vows, Winny ; there are some things we 
cannot do. We cannot sell our souls to the 
enemy, for the contract would be null and void, 
nor can we bind ourselves by oath or vow to do 
any wrong, for the*oath or vow would not be 
obligatory the only sin would be in first hav- 
ing taken the oath, or made the vow. You sin 
in saying what you have- just said you would 
sin more in keeping your word Listen, Winny! 
Heaven and Hell ; God and Satan ; Angel and 
Demon; Right and Wrong; Good an;! Evil; 
the Two Great Contending Powers in the Uni- 
verse which we describe by each and all these 
names, are at last two little simple monosyl- 
lables LOVE -HATE They divide the uni- 
verse they are nearly equal in power they war 
always. Love struggles to redeem hate hate 
struggles to destroy love. Every sacrifice yon, 
even you, tiny ephemeral, make to the Spirit of 
Love, extends the kingdom of love increases 
the power of love. Every sacrifice you make to 
hate, extends the kingdom, and augments the 
strength of hate. Each spirit speaks to you. 
How radiantly beautiful are the Ang Is of Love! 
but, oh! those Spirits of Hate! how darkly beau- 
tiful thev can appear at times ! One calls him- . 
self AVENGER! and with his fiery refulgence 
would dazz e the glance and dim the worship oi 
an angel ! Another, brighter than the sun in 
mid career, is GLORY \ and leads myriads to war 



88 



SHANNONDALE. 



with each other. But their beauty am; thpir 
splendor is all false, all seeming they have 
takea rhe semblance of the angels of light to wile 
away the world with. If the spirit Taking the 
most deceptive form of all the form of JUSTICE, 
has entered your bosom, Winny, do not listen to 
him, cast hi out invoke the Angel of Love by 
deeds of Love." 

"In a word, then, you would advise me to re- 
turu to my fisher, who has inflicted *uch atro- 
cious insults and indignities upon my husband? 
My father, T*hen his whole course of conduct 
tended to one end to separate us, to regain me 
no, no! never will I go! It would be wrong 
to go!" 

'* Ah ! your spirit of hate takes a very specious 
form now! Winny, your filial and conjugal 
duties never can conflict, never could. Tour 
duty is stern, immutable unmodified by others' 
performance or neglect of theirs Nothing that 
your father has done, no wrong that he has com- 
mitted against yourself or your husband, frees 
you from your filial obligations. When your 
father abused yourself, even to personal violence, 
you did not feel that you were freed from duty 
towards him? No! Well but when he haa 
abused your husband, who himself stands in a 
filial relation to him when he abused your hus- 
band in a lesser degree, you, with that exquisite 
deceitfulness we all practice, drew in your conju- 
gal love to cover and excuse the unfilial resent- 
ment or feeling, or want of feeling, that you 
cherish! This must not be, Wiimy ! If you 
yield to the temptation and to the spirit of hate, 
your household will be forevr a discordant and 
disunited family ! That will be terrible. 1 know, 
dear Winny, that it is very trying Co you but if 
you keep your own heart pure, and your lips pure 
from the spirit of hate, you will reunite your 
family. For, listen, Winny ! Your father and 
your husband, whatever their antagonism may be, 
both love you excessively yes, their love for 
you is inordinate ! In you their hearts and in- 
terests will yet unite. They must be reconciled 
must love one another; for both love you 
By returning to your father by that quiet sub- 
mission, you will soften him ; you will prepare 
his heart to receive Edgar, also. Never mind 
all he has said and sworn to the contrary. As I 
said before, such oaths are not binding the sin 
being in making, not in breaking them. He will 
not care a straw about them. You can reco/i- 
cile him to Edgar. And your father, with the 
impetuous force of his character, will throw as 
much or more strength into his patronage of hi* ! 
on-in-law, than ever he threw into his persecu- 
tion of him. Oa! my love, away with PRIDE 
It is a fine-looking spirit, I allow, of majestic 
mien, god-like brow, but it is a spirit of HATE ! 
It is one of the most alluring and dangerous of the 
spirits one of the most powerful of the Princes 
in the Confederate Empire of Hate one of the 



most vigilant and fatal enemies of Love ! Listen 
only to the Spirit of Love for it is redeeming, 
almighty, victorious GOD !" 



CHAPTER XXVIL 
"THE PALSIED HEART." 

I blame no heart, no love, no fate, 

And I have nothing to forgive ; 

I wish for naught, repent of naught, 

Dislike naught bnut to live. 

The desolation of the soul 

Is what I feel 

A sense of fastness that leaves death 

But little to reveal ; 

For death is nothing but the thought 

Of something being again naught. 

Festus. 

* 

It was well for our Winny that she had a 
friend like Miss Summerfield near her always. 
Imogene devoted herself to her cousin, and with 
all the power of her heart and brain, sought to 
arouse her from the lethargy into which she had 
fallen. 

" What can one do, Winny, under any sorrow 
but love, pray and hope ? to hate will not help 
you to despair will not help you to rebel will 
not help you nothing will help you but to love 
and hope to labor and pray !" 

" But I have no will, no power to do either ! 
let me alone, Imogene ! you trouble me." 

" I may not let you alone, poor child, not until 
I have aroused you a little. If you have no will, 
consequently no power to do your duty, ma&e 
the attempt ! and will and power will come, and 
your merit will be greater and your reward high- 
er ; you have control over your actions and 
through them over thought and feeling." 

Sa aay after day Imogene talked with Winny. 
Arid in thus devoting herself to the invalid in 
body, soul and spirit, Miss Summerfield was 
practicing, or attempting to practice, wnat she 
preached. She had wrested herself violently 
from the circle of her own mysterious and sor- 
rowful environments, and thrown herself into 
the sphere of her cousin's life. 

Imogene Summprtield possessed one eminently 
distinguishing trait of character. So el* ated 
above every other trait was this, that a Phre- 
nologist must have been struck with it at once 
in the high, pale forehead, towering to its hig-.est 
point veneration. It was this that at rare in- 
tervals and in inspired moments had lighted up 
the classic beauty of the marble features into 
such all glorious splendor ! Seldom of late, how- 
ever, were the chiselled features of the young 
girl warmed into anything like life. Cold, still, 
impassive, impenetrable, she moved a shwdow 
through the house. She, such an enthusiast in 
her religion, had for many weeks past avoided 






SHANNONDALE. 



the church. " 1 prefer to remain with my cou- 
sin," was the answer she would give to her 
mother wnen any proposition to accompany her 
to Chapel was made, and Mrs. Summertield, with 
an intense gaze into the eyes that ever fell be 
fore thac look would sigh and go on alone. 

Imogene labored now for one object; she knew 
that Squue Darling was rapidly recovering, she 
knew tnat upon the first day that he could ven- 
ture to ride so far, he would come over to see 
Wmny ; she wished to prepare Winny to meet 
him, if not with affection, at least without be- 
traying aversion. 

But a fearful change was coming over Winny. 

It was now the week before the commence- 
ment of Lent. It had been the time honored 
custom of the Catholics of this neighborhood 
to give a succession of dinner and tea-parties for 
a week or two previous to Lent. This was, I 
suppose, a sort of offspring of the south of Eu- 
rope Carnival Be that as it may, it was their 
custom, and so about ten days before Shrove 
Tuesday, Mrs. Summerfield sent out invitations 
for a large dinner party. Among the invited 
guests of course were Squire Darling and his 
young proteg*, Miss Hiuton, whose continued, 
residence under his roof was sanctioned by the 
presence of a respectable matron engaged to 
keep house and nurse him during his convales- 
cence. In her note to her brother, Mrs. Su .Ti- 
mer field requested that he would, if he were 
able to bear the motion of the carriage, ride 
over some days before the dinner party, and re 
main a week or two at Red-Stone Hall, that the 
change of air and the mineral water, togethe-r 
with the society of his daughter, might accele- 
rate his recovery. This kind note was answer 
ed by the arrival of Squire Darling in person, 
looking somewhat thinner and paler than when 
we last saw him in the arrogance of full blood 
ed health and strength. Indeed, instead of his 
brown surtout coat buttoned up, looking like an 
over-stuffed bag of wool, it hung rather genteel- 
ly upon him, so that Harry Joy, whom he had 
met on the road, and who in her genial bon- 
homie, had quite forgiven rudeness and all 
his sundry other sins told him he should rext 
order a dandy coat from his tailor. Well ! 
Squire Darling alighted carefully and cautiously 
from his carriage, and leaning on his stick and 
assisted by his body-servant, went up the stairs 
at Red-Stone Hall, where he was kindly received 
by Mrs. Summerfield ; his long and dangerous 
illness having quite softened the sister's heart 
towards him 

< Show me at once where to find my child, 
Margaret you have been a mother to her, 
Margaret, mav God reward you for it," said the 
squire, as he limped after his sister. 

M's Summer held led him at once up stairs, and 
opening a ba^k chamber door said. 

" My d^ar Wmny ! here is your father," ad- 



mitfed him, and closing the door again, retired, 
leaving the father and daughter alone 

It was a small, luxurious, but sombre chamber, 
a soft dark carpet on the floor ; th". walls hung 
with a dark blue velvet paper A tent bed- 
st^ad stood at one end, a large bay window at 
the other, a fire-place and grate, with two large 
easy chairs occupied the third hide, and a dark 
mahogany bureau and dressing-glass the fourth; 
the bedstead and window weie hung with dark 
blue damask, and the chairs covered with the 
same rich but sombre drapery. Over the fire- 
place hung a fine large oil painting of the Ma- 
donna Doloroso, by Correggio. When the door 
closed on Squire Darling, leaving him in this 
still, shadowy blue room, at first the sudden 
change from noonday without to twilight with- 
in, nearly blinded him, and it was some seconds 
before he could make out a slight fragile form, 
clad in white and faintly gleaming among the 
dark blue pillows of a large easy chair, drawn 
up near the fire. He approached the chair and 
looked again before he could, before he dared to 
recognise that blue-white shade as his daugh- 
ter, then he burst into tears, and without a word 
dropped his stick, sunk down upon the carpet 
and dropping his head upon the arm of her chair, 
wept bitterly. When pride thaws look for 
floods." And yet h saw only the physical ruin, 
he did not guess, perhaps be never could have 
understood, the moral paralysis. And there she 
sat, motionless, cold, impassible, indeed like a 
spirit or th^ picture of a spirit ; that tempest of 
tears making no more impression tnan if indeed 
she had been a shape of mist. At last : 

" Winny ! Winny ! Winny ! Oh, my mother- 
less child ! my dying child ! speak to me why 
don't you speak to me, Winny ?" 

Father." 

He took the pocket-handkerchief from hia 
pocket and wiped the tears and perspiration that 
streamed from his face drew a convulsive, 
shuddering sigh, and tottered np on his feet 
" Winny! Winny! my dear child; say some- 
thing to me, or I shall believe you dead already ! 
Winny ! speak to me, Winny f" 

Father, will you take that other chair?" 

And is that all ? My God ! how cold and 
quiet you are ! and this is the first time we have 
met since we both were so near death!" bit- 
terly said the father, as he sank heavily into 
his chair. She replied nothing, looked nothing. 
He was not in the habit of controlling any emo- 
tion ; he did not try to regain his composure 
but the perfect quietude of her manner acted 
upon his nerves, reducing them to something like 
calmness. They both sat some time in perfect 
silence he gazing at her in a sort of still ex- 
citement; his gaze disturbing her as little as it 
would have disturbed the Madonna Doloroso 
above the mantle-piece. At last he broke out 
again, 



90 



SH \NNONDALE 



My G -d, Winny ! what is tbis ? this is worse 
than death. The dying have more words for 
their mends, tnan you have for your father! 
Winny ! are you angry, and unforgiving ?" 

This question, the nature of which would have 
hocked n-r reverence some months ago, did not, 
however, affect her now. When it was repeated, 
he replied, 
"No, father." 

W&at is it then, my shadow ? Oh, my poor 
shadow, what is it?" 
Nothing." 

"'Nothing!' heavens! how impenetrable you 
are! Winny! where is your little baby? that 
will arouse you, if anything will. Winny! I 
say ! where i your child ?" 
" In the crib, in the corner, father !" 
" Ah, it is so dark in this gloomy room, I can- 
not see. Which corner ? Oh, yes !" 

" Will you hand it to me, father ? J have not 
left my chair for many days, except to go to 
bed." 

" So! and they leave you here alone?" 
"They are all kindness.. 1 prefer it. See, 
here at my right hand, hangs a bell-rope ; when 
1 want anything, 1 have only to ring it." 

He now got up, anri going to the corner, lifted 
the child from the crib and brought it to his 
daughter. He laid it on her lap. Why, Win- 
ny, it is all quietness, like yourself! Why Win 
ny what makes you so cold so unlike your- 
self. Come! let me see you nurse your baby I" 
"I do not nurse her!" 
"Not! not nurse her?" 
"No. I have no milk for her never had 
after rhe first few days I" 

" Oil ! I see ! I see," said the father, with his 
voice full of pity. " Yes, I see ! poor little mo- 
ther, and poor little babe ! But it is a great 
comfort to you, Winny !" 
No reply. 

"Say, is it not, my dear child? you love it 
very much, it is all the world to you, as you are 
to me, Winny. Say, isn't it so ? say, Winny ?" 
" No." 

<No,' again! My God! what! < No' did 
you hear what 1 asked ? I asked you, if you did 
not love your child ?" 
"No." 

"<No!' Good Heavens! no." Is the girl 
idiotic, then ? 
"No, only numb." 

" Numb !" and what may that mean ; Heaven 
be good to us ?" 

Listen, father. I tell you what is true. It 
seems to me as if I had been dead and brought 
to life, with the loss of half my life half my- 
self. Listen, father; some intellects are annihi- 
lated by sorrow It seems to me, that my affec- 
tions have been paralyzed by grief. It is true 
Before this babe was born, I loved it. I feared 
so much lest it should die; or /should die and 



e ve it alone in the world. I praved God to 
preserve us both, or let us both die Father, that 
was the last affectionate feeling I had After 
-'ays of agony of body, and anguish of mind, in- 
sanity and a temporary tieatn, I woke but 
before 1 saw my babe, my heart, my very 
breasts were palsied. I had neither milk for its 
sustenance, nor love for its life. I feel nothijg 
not gratitude to my aunt and cousin, not affec- 
tion for my grandmother, not adoration for my 
Creator, nor love for my Saviour, nor tenderness 
for my babe ; no, nor regret that this is the case. 
1 feel nothing." 

<; Oh! she is crazy! she is crazy! she is 
crazy !" 

" Father, 1 am not the least insane my mind 
is clear and active so active that I am con- 
stantly examining this curious phenomenon this 
annihilation of my affections." 

<" Oa ! she's crazy! she's crazy! she's crazy! 
Why did they not tell me so before this ! Mar- 
garet! ImogeneJ mother! Margaret, I say! 
Where the d 1 are they all? Oh! my God, 
she's crazy !" 

" Come back, father. Come and sit down. 1 
am not crazy not mentally crazy. This may be 
insanity, father, or rather idiocy., but it is idiocy 
of the heart, not of the brain. My mind is clear ; 
see, father, so clear that 1 can almost explain the 
matter. Yes, I think I can explain this thing 
better than any philosopher or physician, be- 
cause you see, father, I have experienced it. 
Yes ! 1 ran define insanity. Sit still, father. In- 
sanity is a partial suppression, and a partial ex- 
altation of LIFE Insane persons are unconscious, 
or dead to some things, and supernaturitily con- 
scious of and alive to others. The largest life is 
in the heart and brain. Father, sit still, I am 
not mad. In Heaven, it is said, the Cherubim 
know most, the Seraphim love most therefore, 
we kno-v that the Cherubim have the largest 
and most active brains, and the Seraphim the 
largest and most active hearts. Sit still, father 
what was I saying ? Oh ! about insanity. 
There is an insanity where the lite is suppressed 
in the brain the intellect; ar.-d i-xalteii in the 
heart, the affections ; as in the case of my grand- 
mother; and the subject becomes like a seraph 
tua, loves most; and you call their love, dotage, 
drivelling, idiocy. And there is an insanity 
where the life is suppressed in the heart and 
affections, and supernaturally developed in the 
brain, td,e intellect and the subject becomes an 
abstraction of intellect, like a ch<-.rurj -.vbo knows 
nost and you call toe inspirations, raving And 
if I were to tell you all I know, fattier, you would 
call it raving." 

" For instance, now ?" inquired the wretched 
father, fixing his eyes on his child, and gulp 
ing down his emotion by a strong effort 

Why, father, when you used to smile upon 
me, it would light a smile also in my face. It 






SHANNONDALE. 






expressed your love for me, and your pleasure 
in me, and excited mine. Well, father, 1 know 
all nature is intdliaent and loving as well as ani- 
mate the sun is a great being who loves our 
earth and all his other family of planets. And 
the sunshine on our earth is a conscious loving 
smile and the reflected light is a conscious 
loving response." 
"Oh-h-k-h heaven!" 

" Y-s, father, don't groan. You call it LIGHT, 
father. I know it is LOVE !" 

< Oh-h-h-h, Winny, my child, my child!" 
<s 1 know more,* father. I know I can't love, 
because I have got nothing to love through my 
heart, you see, is broken down, could 1 see if my 
eyes we^e out, father ? well, but this is what I 
know that I shall die that my spirit will leave 
this half ruined body with the broken heart, 
and that it will be clothed with a new incorrup- 
tible body with a new heart that can never be 
broken, and that with that I shall again worship 
God and love you, Edgar, my baby ail people. 
I used to believe this because the priest said it 
now 1 am raised to know it !" 
"On! my child! my child!" 
I know more, father and oh, listen, lest I 
should loig^t to tell you, for I know so many 
new things, for knowledge comes so fast it 
flows on and on and the new drives out the old 
and I want you to remember this." 
Oh-h-h-h!" 

" As my heart and my affections were destroy- 
ed by sorrow, so the hearts of others are de- 
stroyed by wrong, by injustice, by slander, by 
neglect, by mal-education and you call the 
heart depraved, corrupt, perverted, and so it is, 
but not the spirit! Father, it is the spirit that 
suffers at dtath, freed from its ruined and mal- 
treated body, it will be redeemed, freed, clothed 
upsn, and will manifest itself good as happy. 
T- is give* me no joy now, father! it is cold 
knowledge it gives me no joy because 1 cannot 
feel. I can only think but I know that when I 
get a new, whole heart, I shall be glad of it in 
heaven, and I say this as a blind child would 
say, I shall see when I get new eyes in heaven." 
Again Squire Darling groaned bitterly, then as 
his child did riot speak again, he seized her hand 
hoping yes hoping to find fever there to ac- 
count tor this fearful wandering of the mind, but 
no, her pul^e was even and rather slow. He 
picked up his stick, and fast as his remaining 
lameness would allow, he hurried from the cham- 
ber in search of Mr*. Summerfield. In the mean- 
time Mrs Summerfield was engaged in conver- 
sation with her Daughter. 



91 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 



WIGHT IN DAT. 



The mind that brood* o'er guilty woes 

Is like the scorpion girt by fire, 
In circle narrowing as it glow*. 
The (lames around their captive close, 
Till inly scorched by thousand throes, 

And maddened in her ire, 
One sad and sole relief sh knoves. 
The sting she nourished for her foes, 
Whose venom never yet was vain, 
Gives but one pang and cures all pain 
And darts into her dep perate brain. 
So do the darif in soul xpire, 
Or live like scorpion girt by fire; 
So writhes the soul remorse hath riven- 
Unfit for earth undoomed for heaven 
Darkness above despair beneath 
Around it flame beneath it death. 

Byron. 

Immediately upon leaving Squire Darling at 
the door of his daughter's chamber, Mrs. Sum- 
merfield had passed down the long, dividing hall, 
with the intention of seeking a private interview 
with Imogens. In truth, Mrs. Summerfield had 
parental griefs of her own, and not, as in Squire 
Darling's instance, of her own cfeation. What 
hand had she, in fact, in producing the great sor- 
row that was day by day visibly consuming t-.e 
health and flesh and beauty the very life of 
Imogene ? she who was " innocent of the know- 
ledge" of its cause. Her heart was even more 
than usually oppressed upon this day. It could 
not have been otherwise. Since the prepara- 
tions for this large dinner party commenced, 
Miss Summerfield had fallen into deeper gloom 
health, flesh and life had wasted with greater 
and fearful rapidity. She had forsaken even 
Winny. She died hourly. Mrs. Summerfield 
opened the door of her daughter's chamber and 
entered. She paused a few steps from the cen- 
tre of the room, arrested by a still picture still 
but full of tumult, like a painting of a battle, or 
of a tempest. 

Imogene's chamber was beautiful and luxuri- 
ous it was all that great wealth, an artist's 
taste, and a mother's love could make it. It 
was the largest front room. Two lofty windows 
from ceiling to floor, opening upon a ba cony, 
commanded a view of the Sbenandoah and the 
mountains beyond. But these windows were 
now shaded by curtains of purple satin aamask, 
lined with orange colored silk. The space be- 
tween the windows was filled up with a large 
Raphael, a Virgin and Child surmounting a small 
but elegant altar. 

Before this altar knelt Imog*>ne, her hands 
clasped, her face upraised, her lips stnrk apart, 
her brow corrugated, her eyes strained nay, her 
rery ringlets bristling as it were with anguish. 
Yes ! there was grief, remorse, terror, despair, 



92 



SH ANNOND ALE. 



all braided in letters of fire upon that ghastly- 
face ! Oae would say a criminal in view of his 
execution, a sinner in view of inevitable and 
eternal perdition might look so ! Well might the 
sight strike down all color from the mother's 
cheek, all strength from the mother's limbs 
never before had she seen a harassing agony like 
this ! Struck motionless with grief arid fear, the 
mother stood gazing on the image the image 
gtill and stormy and terrible as the picture of a 
volcano in tiacues ! 

Unable at last to bear it longer, she went and 
laid her hand upon the upturned, agonized brow, 
and said, 

Imogene !" 

With the fearful spring of a wild beast the 
girl bounded to her feet, and with a look half of 
terror, half of defiance, she turned sharply 
around. 

" It is 7, Imogene !" said the half heart-broken 
mother. 

"My mother!" she exclaimed, violently agi- 
tated. 

Mrs. Summerfield threw her arms around her 
daughter, forced her to a gorgeous lounge near 
sat down and drew her to her side drew her 
head down upon her bosom, and pressing her 
there again and again in speechless strength of 
love and sorrow. 

" What woutdst thou, my mother ?" 

On. Imogene, my child, my child, confide in 
me ! No matter what it is ! If it were pinkie ! 
if it coidd ba possible! if thou art GUILTY, Imo- 
gene! cofid in me! lay thy guilt upon my 
heart! I would take it all! the guilt, the re- 
morse, the punishment! all, Imogene, to give 
peace to thy soul! Confide in me, oh, my 
child!" 

" Mother, you charge upon shadows !" 

"Thou hast nor GUILT upon thy soul then, 
child 1 1 was mad to think it ! Yet thy sorrows 
vuJcf, me mad, Imogene!" 

" Mother ! what shall I do to give thee 
peace ?" 

" Do ! convince me that thou art not dying 
of griff, REMORSE ! I know not what ! Alas ! 
you never enter a church ! you never go to con- 
fession ! Imogene, when were you at confession ? 
Now, I insist upon your telling me that !" 

" Nat since the Easter that I was sixteen 
years old." 

"Nearly three years,! Imogene! nay, now! 
by all my love for you ! by all the duty no ! by 
all the love you owe me! tell me! I implore 
thee! I adjure thee, tell me thy secret! But, 
my Go4, Imogen? ; you are changing frightfully 
before m^ you grow fierce as a tiger or a ma- 
niac! vour eyes spnrkle! they blaze! In the 
name of Heaven, what is it, then ?" 

Bitterly and fiercely spoke out the transformed 
maiden. 

" I would have spared thee t thou wilt not let 



me Thou wilt compel me I am frenzied now, 
1 believe ! Yes, 1 am ! Hear it tren ! I AM 
GUILTY ! Yes, yes, mother ! J, your only child, 
stand here steeped to the very lips in guilt ! yes, 
yes ! guilt beside which the murderer's crimson 
soul would pale !" 

"Stop! stop! inraerey,stop!" exclaimed Mrs. 
Summerfield, holding her temples tightly. But 
Imogene had no power to stop. 

"Yes, GUILT! I dare not go to confession ! I 
dare not enter a church ! I am bteeped to the 
lips in guilt! lost in a sea of guilt! guilt that has 
no name on earth to specify its'nature, to express 
its enormity ! aye ! guilt that has closed heaven ! 
that has barred purgatory ! that has opened wide 
the gates of hell for me !" 

" Stop ! stop ! in mercy, stop ! I loose my 
senses!" 

" Would I could lose mine !" 

"Lost girl! repent! repent!" 

< I cannot ! I am doomed ! day by day 1 sink 
deeper into this perdition!" 

" Oh, God! I have watched ove her! prayed for 
her day and night how can she have fallen into 
crime ! Imogene, my heart is broken 1 shall 
die but, oh, my child ! you are mad to think 
that you are past the mercy of God ! repent ! 
confess! expiate! goto Father Burle^gh! Nay, 
1 will send for him to come here ! I am mad ! 
I know not what I say ! tell me the nature of 
your your crime." 

No NEVER will I tell that, my mother !" 
exclaimed Imogene, in a tone EO stern, so deter- 
mined, that spite of everything, it arrested the 
agonizing examination With exhausting reac- 
tion, MISS Summerfield had suck into the corner 
of her lounge, and buried her face in the pillows. 
Mrs. Summerfield dropped her face on her bands. 

There they remained, without change of atti- 
tude, without speaking another word, hour after 
hour, until the sun went down until the shades 
of night gathered darkly in the room until the 
servants, missing Mrs. Summerfield, came to 
seek her then she arose mechanically, stooped 
and kissed Imogene, and silently left the room. 
Miss Summerfield did not appear at the supper 
table. Mrs. Summerfield took tea tete-a-tete 
with her brother, who, as soon as they were 
seated, said, somewhat petulantly, 

I have been hunting you all over the house, 
Margaret ! Good Heavens ! it seems to me you 
are very indifferent about my poor child ! But 
you are so blessed in your daughter, that it 
makes you selfish, Margaret. A little trouble 
would improve your heart." And then he went 
on to tell her of Winny's wanderings. Mrs. 
Summerfield, with a painful effort to recall her 
own wandering thoughts, endeavored to reassure 
him. It was only the effect of sorrow and debi- 
lity, and would disappear when three causes 
were -removed. If Edgar Ardenne could be found 
and brought back, Winny would speedily re- 



S HAN NOND ALE. 



93 



cover. There was nothing fatal in Winny's dis- 
order Indeed, compared to her own grief, ever 
grief seemed light to this poor mother. 

At the name of Edgar Ardenne, the face of the 
squire grew black as night, whereby you migh 
know that however he might pity Winny, h< 
still hated Ardenne. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

DAT IN NIGHT. 

Oh! lightly, lightly tread! 

A holy thing is sleep, 
On the worn spirit shed, 

And eyes that wake to weep. 
A holy thing from heaven, 

A gracious, dewy cloud, 
A covering mantle given 

The weary to enshroud. 

Oh! lightly, lightly tread ! 

Revere that fair, still brow, 
The meekly drooping head, 

The long hair's willowy flow; 
Ye know not what ye do. 

That call the slumberer back, 
From the world unseen by you, 

Unto life's dim, faded track. 

Hemans. 

Mrs. Summerfield could not sleep that night. 
"1 wonder if she sleeps? alas, no! she lies 
and tosses as I do ! How many nights, my 
heaven ! has that poor girl waked and suffered I 
night after nigbt, and week after week, yes! and 
month succeeding month, until health and flesh 
and beauty have wasted away ! and my child is 
haggard at nineteen ! I will go and see if she 
sleeps!" and so saying, Mrs. Summerfield arose, 
slipped on a dressing gown, took the shaded night 
taper and crossing the passage, entered Imo- 
gene's chamber. It was very quiet. She list- 
ened. There was no sound, no motion, no sigh ; 
nothing to suggest that the occupant of the 
chamber waked. Mrs. Summerfield approached 
the bed gradually and cautiously advanced the 
light started ! almost exclaimed with surprise 
at what she saw ! ehe approached the taper 
asjain and looked more intently. Was that Imo- 
gene? That the girl "steeped to the lipa in 
guil f " and haggard with remorse ? That! Mrs. 
Summerfield turned the cylinder of the taper, 
raising a strong light, and flashing it upon the 
steeper. Was that Imogene, the girl so lately 
consumed with guilt and remorse ? What, that 
radiant sleeper flooded with the glory of some 
celestial vision ? Yes f that was truly Imogene, 
transfigured and glorified in sleep ! how beauti- 
ful she looked ! and how happy ! even to ecstacy. 
The cover was thrown off her bosom the beau- 
tiful bosom only slightly veiled by the long 
b! ck ringlets that glided and twined caressingly 



about it her arms, the long, loose sleeves falling 
below the elbows, were thrown np over her 
head, carrying half her ringlets with them. The 
face was glorious- with a beaming j >y 5 tbe eye- 
brows raised, arched and open; the lips full and 
sl'ghtly apart with a dreamy smile; the cheeks 
faintly colored ; the whole complexion of face, 
arms and bosom, roseate ; the muscles all lull, 
elastic, slightly inflated, as by rising joy or 
a very gentle perspiration and regular breathing 
assured the mother that this was really health- 
ful sleep and happy dreaming. Inspired with 
hope, the mother dropped upon her knees and 
thanked God, saying, 

This girl may be an erring maniac, but she 
is not guilty ! Thank God ! The guilty never 
sleep, never dream like that! If it were so, 
then indeed would the wandering lancies of poor 
Winny have struck upon some truth 1" 

She knelt, and watched her long receiving 
from the radiant sleeping face a balm for all the 
wounds the haggard face had given her. Oh ! 
long she knelt by the side of the beautiful 
sleeper, loath to leave her loath, for fear that 
the lost vision would never return to bKss her 
sight, and soothe her fears again. At last she 
left the chamber and returned to bed, to lie 
there and wonder at the strange occurrence. 
Sae thought of all that she had read of trances, 
ecstacies, on which, when the body seemed to 
sleep, the soul was absent but all she remem- 
bered of such cases, only convinced her that this 
sleep of Imogene's was neither trance nor ec- 
stacy the soul was not absent from that glori- 
fied body ! no ! it was very present present in 
its most exalted life making radiant the coun- 
tenance of the beautiful sleeper no this was a 
healthful sleep, and a heavenly dream but 
what, then, was the remorse, that consuming 
Imogene all day long, waa lifted from her soul 
at night? 

The lady was an early riser she was up 
with the sun. She saw nothing of Imogene un- 
til they were all assembled at breakfast, when 
her daughter entered pale, still, cold, impassi- 
ble as usual, and took her seat at the table, as 
unlike the radiant and celestial dreamer of the 
night before as she was to the tortured, half- 
frenzied sufferer of the day before 

"Have you seen Winny this morning, Misa 
Summerfield?" inquired her uncle. 

" Yes, sir, I have just left her room. She 
has not yet risen " 
" How is she then, my dear ?" 
As usual." 

And who is with her ?" 
"Our grandmother. She has the adjoining 
room to Winny. She stays with her always." 
" She was not there when I went in yester- 
day, and, by-the-way, I have not seen her mo- 
ther how is she?" 
She is improving in health she is quiet and 



94 



SHANNO NDALE. 



happy since her re-union with Winny she is I will do it! only do not probe my soul so. 
dotmgly fond of the baby, and passes all her ; Mother, is there anything I can do to satisfy 



time m Wmny's chamber, except an hour in the 
afternoon, when she retires to take her nap. 
You will find her there after breakfast. She 
breakfasts with Winny " 

.. Yew ! well ! poor Winny ! poor child ! you 
rcallv think, Margaret, that she is not entirely 
out of her mind ?" 

She is unsettled and fanciful. I have seen 
eucti cases before. Her mind will grow quiet 
as her health improves." 

"Qiiet! now God forbid she should grow 
any quieter than she is I Quiet ! I do not know 
which is the more quiet, t-he or the Madonna 
Dolorosa over her mantelpiece by the-way, 
tke it down ! hang there a picture of a little 
boy and girl riding on a jackass, or anything 
that look* pleasant or half silly, aid down, also 
with the dark curtains let in a flood of sunlight 
and instead of my poor old mother, turn little 
Nimrod, turn Harry Joy in on her." 

f: And shock her into convulsions for that 
would be the end of it," replied Mrs. Summer- 
field. "No, my brother, our treatment is 
wisest ; hypocondriasis may be so cured, but 
real sorrow is not so fooled.'' After a little 
conversation "I have sent the carriage for 
Fanner Burleigh and Harriette, brother," said 
the lady. 
Have you ?" 
Y*s " 

" Well, we shall have company enough here, 
presently. 1 have sent my coach for Sina." 
" You should have brought her with you." 
" Yes, but you see Sina would not ride so 
long a journey alone with me Sina is so fool- 
ish, so old-maidish." 

< Miss Hinton is a very discreet young lady 
over-particular in some things, I admit." 

Rising, they left the table and separated. 
The nqnire wending towards Winny's chamber. 
Mrr Sumnnerfield, drawing her daughter's arm 
within her own, turned into their mutral sitting- 
room. 

" How are you, this morning, my love ?" 
" Steady, sane, mother 1 no more of yester- 
day ! 

" No, no ! but, Imogene, do you know that 
Colonel Dangerfield has returned ?" 
Has he ?" 

" How quietly you say that ! Yes, he has, 
Imogene. He is at < The Soldier's Rest.' I 
s*n f a card of invitation to him yesterday this 
morning he sends back a reply, declining the 
visit, and excusing himself. Imogene, what is 
the meaning of thi* ?" 

" He knows, mother, that his presence dis- 
tresses me " 

"And why, Miss Summerfield?" 

o ! I beteech you, stop! 

Tell me oi anything i cab do to please you, and 



you ?" 

" Yes ! go to church, Imogene ! &o regular- 
ly. Lent is betting in the devotions of the sea- 
son will calm your mind- Near Easter go to 
confession receive the blessed eucharm, and 
yon will have peace. Say, Imogene, will you 
do so ?" 

" I will go to church, mother, that is all I can 
promise." 

" The rest may follow," said the lady. 
Again that night her mother left her bed, and 
stole to the chamber of her daughter. Again 
she found the beautiful sleeper radiant with the 
light of some celestial vision her exaltation 
higher than before her flesh slightly inflated 
as though a happy spirit breathed through every 
pore her skin roseate her brow open, arched, 
and serenely joyous ! her lips rosy, dewy, and 
half apart in a beaming smile ! her very finger 
ends, half lost in the shining ringlets, were rosy 
and elastic with the high tide of life ! the gen- 
tle perspiration, the regular breathing, attest.icg 
the healthful sleep the radiant brow and smi- 
ling lipa revealing the happy dream ! Again the 
mother knelt by the bedsiie, and offered up 
thanks to the Divine Father, that so watched 
and blessed her daughter's slumber. Then rising, 
and looking a kiss upon that heavenly brow, she 
left the chamber. 

The few days preceding the dinner party, 
passed in this way : In the day, Imogene was 
pale, cold, still, reserved, or if her reserve was 
noticed, violently agitated, almost convulsed. 
In the night, in sleep, so roseate, warm, alive 
and radiant. 

Sina Hinton arrived upon the evening of the 
day she had been sent for. Just as she alighted 
from the carriage, the coach containing Father 
Burleigh and Harriette, drove up. They met on 
the piazza Miss Hinton immediately advanced 
to the old priest, and held out her hand he stop- 
ped, shrunk from her, and shuddered. Harriette 
turned her back when she saw her approach. 
Miss Hinton, without the least embarrassment, 
went on, and was received at the hall door by 
Mrs. Summerfield, who pressed her hand kindly, 
before she passed out to welcome the priest and 
his eccentric niece. No one saw the smile of 
fiendish malice that flickered, flame-like, around 
the crimson lips, and gleamed from the bit 
eyes of the girl, as she went up stairs, attendee 
by a maid, to change her dress. 

This toilet wa<s soon made, and she descended 
to the drawing-room. I said that Sina had 
changed had grown into a sort of fiendish 
beauty. She was very small, very slight, very 
elegant and graceful her features were sharp 
and fierce, hut her command of them so perfect, 
that this " daughter of man," might have drawn 
down from heaven a son of God," by th fasci- 



SHANNOND ALE. 



95 



nation of her smile. She wore a dark blue satin, 
closely fitting, and no ornament, except the 
long, black, spiral ringlets. 

When s fie appeared at the door, Squire Dar- 
ling immediately arose, crossed the room, and 
gave her his arm, and conducted her to a neat. 

"By the side of Father Burleigh, if you please, 
or rfuher between Father Burleigh and Mrs. 
Summerfield. I wish to sit near Mrs. Summer- 
field, and 1 wish to ask that dear old gentleman 
about nis precious health and spirits," said Sina, 
with her piquant smile. 

" As you please, wilful sprite I till dinner, 
but after dinner you sit with me, you know !" 
rejoined our squire, forgetting his troubles in 
the charm of Sina's voice and smile. 

Well, he took her straight up to the sofa upon 
which sat Mrs and Miss Summerfield and Fa- 
ther Burleigh, saying 

" Here ! Miss Hinton, will accept no seat but 
one between Mr. Burleigh and yourself, Marga- 
ret! he loves you both so well !" and smiling, 
withdrew. 

To divide her witcheries, Miss Hinton took 
Mrs. Summrfield's band, and drawing it on her 
own lap, caressed it between her own small, 
dark fingers, while she leaned shoulderwise and 
affectionately towards Father Burleigh, and 
raising her dark, beautiful head, with all its fall- 
ing ringlets, and lifting her fine eyes lovingly 
towards bis, she cooed in softest tones 

"On-h-h! I've longed to see you so much, 
dear Father ! How do you do? (Jm-m-m-me ! 
You do not look well, Father are you in good 
health Um-mm-me ?" 

My health is failing, Miss Hinton," coldly 
and haughtily replied the priest, turning pale 
with fear and disgust. 

i 'Um m-me I feared so." pathetically cooed 
Sina, still keeping her eyes lovingly raised to his 
I am afraid you do not go into society 
enough. You must give us your company for 
a day at Oak Grove, and bring Miss Harriette 
with you really you must now, I intend to ex- 
act that promise before you leave," and then 
there darted from the softness of her eyes a 
quick, stiletto-like menace, quickly withdrawn, 
but understood. 

"You will come will you not, dear 
ther ?" 

" I I shall be too happy !" gasped the priest, 
shrinking from her leaning shoulder, as from a 
fire. 

Then changing her tone to one of arch ban- 
tering, ehe turned to Mrs. Summerfield, and 
said 

"Do you know that Father Burleigh once saw 
a ghost in the church-yard?" 

The priest was ghastly with illness, dread, 
loathing or all three. \ 

"Look, Mrs. Summerfield! look at Father 
Burleigh! I declare he believes in ghosts! 



just see how the mention of the subject alarms 
him! Did you ever tell Mrs. Summerfield of 
the ghost you saw, Father Burleigh 1 Did he, 
Mrs. Summerfield V* 

" No but I did hear a strange report was it 
ever investigated, Father Burleigh ?-- ever ex- 
plained ?" inquired that lady suddenly turning 
to the priest, and noticing now, for the first 
time, his extreme pallor and violent agitation - 

" Good Heavens ! Father Burieigh ! Miss 
Hinton ! A glass of water ! quick ! Father I 
what is it ?" 

" N-nothing I A a vertigo ! i am subject 
to it it will pass away!" 

Miss Hinton had flown irom the room, and 
now returned with a glass of water, which she 
pressed upon the priest's acceptance. He re- 
ceived it from her hand with averted eyes, and 
strong symptoms of hydrophobia. After a while 
she took the empty glass from him beckoned 
her humble servant. Squire Darling, from the 
opposite side of the room, gave it to him to take 
out, and turning, bestowed her affectionate at- 
tentions again upon the suffering Father. 

" Are you better now, dear Father 
um-m-m-me ?" tenderly cooed my dove, nest- 
ling against my old raven, lovingly. 
Yes, yes, 1 am better, now !" 
1 am so relieved ! Indeed, my own nerves 
have been dreadfully shattered by a dream I had 
last night." 

"A dream!" exclaimed Mrs. Summerfield, 
whom we know to have been very much inte- 
rested in the philosophy of night sleep, and 
dreams. 

Even the cold, still, abstracted Imogene was 
aroused from her apathy. 

A dream !" she repeated, fixing her large, 
commanding eyes steadily upon Miss Hinton, 
who, passing her hand to and fro across her 
brow, as if to charm away a shadow there, re- 
plied 

"Oh, yes, a dream! a dreadful dream! 
Listen, Father Burleigh, for I wish you to give 
me absolution for such a wicked dream!" 

The priest raised his head, and fixed bis eyes 
in doubt and fear upon the countenance of the 
| malign girl. Mrs. Summerfield was also gazing 
Fa- | at her. 

| My soul was in purgatory last night!" 

" Ah ! I believe it quite possible for the soul 
to be in heaven or in hell during sleep," said the 
lady, in a low but earnest voice Imogene start- 
ed violently, the blood rushed to her very brow, 
dying it almost purple, and very slowly receding, 
left it of a death-Lke pallor. Mrs, Summerfield 
saw this and suppressed a groan. 

" My dream!" said Miss Hinton was this 
Listen, father ! to my 

DfCMON DREAM. 

"Methought the nigb.t. wa-j dark and stormy. J 
stood upon the shore of Chesapeake Bay. 



96 

sky was pitch black, except that the bay in a 
seething tempest, its waves rolled up from t^e 
bottom and luminous with phosphorescent light, 
roared and rocked to and fro like the blue flames 
of a measureless sea of fire, fhm ng up against the 
inky sky and tinging the black clouds with a 
lurid blood colored light ! Tbe wind ran groan- 
ing, howling and shrieking like a maniac-demon 
around the horizon ! The thunder broke over 
head with the terrific report of an exploded 
world, rolling in fragments down the abyss ot 
space ! The lightning glared around with the 
consuming light of a firmament in conflagration! 
The phosphorescent waves of the stormy bay 
burned pale and blue beneath the sudden and 
insufferable blaze of light! 

****** 
But tosxing to find fro from one pale, Hue flaming 
wave to another was seen what do you think ^ Fa- 
ther Burleigh! a SKELETON boat?" questioned 
the fell girl fixing her eyes suddenly with their 
lurid light full upon those of the priest. The 
attention of her hearers had been too absorbed 
by the magnetic power of the demon girl to 
notice the increasing and alarming illness of the 
priest, who now fell forward in a swoon ! The 
company started up in dismay and confusion 
bells were rung violently, servants ran in hur- 
riedly the old man was raised and laid upon the 
gofa a groom was despatched on horseback for 
a physician, and in the terrors and consternation 
that ensued co one thought of the termination of 
Sina Hinton'o Demon Dream. 

She knelt by his side, bathed his temples with 
hartshorn, watched his returning life with the 
deep interest of malice, and when at last he 
opened his eyes, stooped and hissed in his ears 

"When you give me another public affront 
look for another ' vertigo.'" 

All this time Harriette Joy was in Winny's 
chamber playing with the baby, chatting with 
the old lady, and doing her cheerful best to make 
every one there happy. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

CLAUDE VKLLEMONTE. 

" Sublime significance of mouth, 
Dilated nostril full of youth, 
And forehead royal with the truth, 
With sovran eyes of depth profound 

And yet, 
The power of life was m them set." 

Mrs. Browning. 

The day of the dinner party came. The hand- 
somely furnished drawing-room was decorated 
and thrown open, and according to the cere- 
monious custom of the day and neighborhood, 
Mrs and Miss SumrrtPrfieM, upported Hy Squire 
Darling, stood near the door to re?eive their 



SHANNONDALE. 



guests- They were rather a handsome trio. 
Squire Darliog " neatly, trimly dressed fresh 
as a bridegroom," in his suit of speckles? black, 
which well became his fair complexion and fair 
blue eyes, cleared by recent illness, and his soft 
light hair. Squire Darling betrayed a conscious- 
ness of looking exceedingly well, Mrs. Sum- 
merfield was a lady of rare matronly beaty, as I 
have before hinted her tall and finely rounded 
form was arrayed in a full dinner costume of rich 
black velvet and a small slight gossamer cap set 
off without concealing the heavy bands of glossy 
black hair parted above her noble brow. Miss 
Summerfield wore a crimson satin witn full and 
open sleeves and open corsage, with chemisette 
and under sleeves of fine lace in full and deep 
falls. Her long black ringlets flowing down as 
usual in their divisions were without any orna- 
ment beyond a single string of pearls around her 
classic head. Imogene seemed paler, thinner 
than ever. Nay by the contrast of her glowing 
dress and long black curls her face looked hag- 
gard, ghastly but, alas! little did Miss Sum- 
merfield think or care about her looks. She 
leaned wearily upon her uncle's arm and receiv- 
ed her guests with a politeness so evidently 
forced as to call forth remarks such as these 
when the latter had passed out of hearing. 

What can be the matter with Miss Summer- 
field 1 and of all wonders where is Colonel Dan- 
gertield ?" and the simplest and dullest of their 
visitors would immediately combine these two 
circumstances. 

Nearly all the expected visiters had arrived, 
and Miss Summerfield nearly sinking with fa- 
tigue had just requested permission to leave her 
post when the name of " Mr. Vellemonte" was 
announced, and Squire Darling felt the form re- 
clining upon his arm start and quiver as if 
pierced by an arrow ! and whispering hastily, 

"You are fatigued, Miss Summerfield, and I 
must lead you to a seat" would have done so but 
that the gentleman announced immediately af- 
terwards entered the room and stood before 
them. Squire Darling bowed very lowly and 
gravely, and Mrs. Summerfield with more than 
usual sauvity greeted her new visiter and took 
him off to a seat. 

That is the new priest!" 

" That is Mr. VeUemonte, the new pastor of 
Sacred Heart." 

" How remarkably handsome ! how singularly 
graceful !" 

" How strangely like Miss Summerfield ! Did 
you ever see such a likeness ?" were the sup- 
pressed whispers of the company as M' . Velle- 
monte crossed the room and took a seat near a 
lady of his own congregation. The subject of 
their comments was indeed singularly hand- 
some He was a fine specimen of a harmonious- 
ly developed vital temperament- I fear he would 
not interest the poetic reader, for with all his 



SHAh NONDALE. 



97 



remarkable beauty, health was the great and 
striking peculiarity of his being. He was the 
ideal of physical, mental and moral HEALTH. 
The impersonation of a vigorous LIFE. LIFE 
was in every limb and feature in every expres- 
sion, gesture and motion. Strange ! but when 
you saw him you became conscious that every 
one else in comparison was more or less out of 
health. He was tall and rather full formed his 
countenance was very fine his forehead was 
high and broad his face rather long, but his 
cheeks and chin so full and round as to give the 
whole face a beautiful oval cast his complexion 
was clear and sanguine his hair a warm auburn, 
and his eyes clear blue his mouth perfectly 
beautiful in form and expression yet with all 
this difference of form and complexion he was 
startlmgly like dark and haggard Imogene. It 
was impossible to analyze this startling resem- 
blance, for when closely examined it was so in- 
tangible that it would disappear, and you would 
say it was a hallucination there was none at all 
until he would look at you or speak, and then 
the resemblance say almost the identity would 
half terrify you. There sat the subject of this 
description cheerfully conversing with the lady on 
his right hand. From the time of his entrance 
a new spirit seemed infused into the hitherto for- 
mal and silent company. Conversation received 
an impulse, and pleasant talk and merry jest 
and happy smile went around and around like 
a pleasant agitation affecting all but Miss Sum- 
merfield, who, in a remote corner, sat alone and 
moody. Soon Vellemonte arose and mingled 
with the crowd, diffusing life and gaiety as he 
passed. 

" Dear me ! I think he is very lively for a mi- 
nister of the gospel !" said a sour visaged lady 
in a hissing whisper, unconscious of being heard 
by the subject of her remark. Vellemonte turned 
quickly around and dropped his eyes, raining 
light and blessing and joy upon her, and then 
passed on. The lady's brow cleared as by magic, 

warmed and exalted she, too, passed on her 
rejoicing in light. 

hrough the crowd he was seeking Harriette. 
He found her and the merry maiden sprang 
ously to meet him. 

I want you to take me to Mrs. Ardenne's 
ber," said he. 
Harriet, with a " Certainly ! please come 

way !" led him out. She took him straight 
up to Winny's apartment. " Now do you wish 
me to go in ?" 

Yes," said he, with his hand on Harriette's 
short curls. "Yes, I wish you to come in." 
And they entered. 

Winny was in the same arm-cbair in the 
same still attitude. The old lady sat in the one 
opposite, smiling to the babe that lay in the crib 
beside her. A brighter smile broke like a burst 
of sunshine over the old lady's face as the young 
9 




priest entered. Even Winny's cold face lighted 
up. He took the hands of each and then sat 
down between them. * * * * * 
Wnen he left them a half hour after, the face of 
the old lady was lighted with intelligenceand 
that of Winny, with emotion at last. When 
he reached the drawing-room the people were all 
going in to dinner. He took the arm of Miss 
Summerfield, and drawing it within his own con- 
ducted her to the table ; and during the passage, 
while her arm reposed on his, her excited nerves 
grew calm, her heart quiet, her mind clear, as by 
a miracle. He sat by her side during dinner 
watched her attentively, and waited on her 
zealously. When dinner was over, he again drew 
her arm within his own and took her back to the 
saloon to a distant fauteuil, and sat down beside 
her his clear eyes turned with interest upon 
her haggard face, seeking to read there the secret 
of her misery. The other guests who had fol- 
lowed them into the saloon, dispersed themselves 
in gay parties over the room. None approached 
their fauteuil- He was still perusing her coun- 
tenance. Her eyes were dropped yet here was 
no disturbance, no paleness, no trembling, no 
shrinking from that clear and searching gaze. 
All was calmness. At last he spoke, and his 
round full liquid notes were melody. 

" Imogene, we meet at last meet for the se- 
cond time for three years ; and 1 find you, oh! 
so frightfully altered I Imogene, I knew nothing 
of this. I knew you had never entered the chapel 
since my arrival, but I conjectured that devotion 
to your cousin prevented you. I did not guess that 
you had been ill ! Rave you been ill, Imogene?" 

"In body? no," replied Miss Summerfield, 
without lifting her eyelashes. 

Then you have mentally suffered, Imogene f 
It is even as I feared. Tell me the cause of your 
trouble, Imogene. Ha ! do you shudder so ! and 
grow pallid, and drop your face upon your hands I 
Nay, nay look up, Imogene, raise your eyes to 
mine ! I would soothe, not agitate you ; look at 
me, Imogene ?" 

Was there mesmerism or magic in those soft 
fu.ll tones full of compassion as command ? Miss 
Summerfield, with the involuntary docility of a 
child, slowly raised her eyes, and slowly let them 
meet his own his clear deep eyes, whence light 
and life, blessing and joy, streamed into hers; 
filling her heart with peace raising her soul to 
a new sense of life. It was as though that glance 
had rent apart the curdling blood that now flowed 
healthfully through all her veins flushing her 
cheeks, lighting her eyes, and elevating her 
spirits. 

He was a shade paler, a degree sadder, as he 
said, 

"I will not ask you for your secret again, 
Imogene. Some day you will tell it me. But I 
will ask you to come to church. Promise me 
that." 



93 



SHANNONDALE. 



" Yes I promise it the more readily that 1 
have passed my word to my mother to do eo. 

"That is well. Imogene, look in my eyes and 
read my soul deeply as your glance can pierce 
and for anything that lies deeper than that, ask 
me ard 1 will tell you." 

Wc-v do you say this to me 1" 

Because I read in your countenance, among 
other things, a wonder, an interest, and a cu- 
rios it v." 

" Nothing more ?" 

" Y<-s ! something more ! Shall I tell you what 
Iread- Imogene?" 

"No!" exclaimed Imogene, shuddering vio- 
lently, struck with a sudden convulsion. 

The hand of the priest fell slowly and lightly 
on hers, and her agitation subsided. " Now, 
Imogeue, you might, if you so pleased, tell me 
the darkest secret of your heart, and it would 
grow bright in the communication; or, you 
may ask me for mine you may sift me tho- 
roughly." 

Tell me, then," said Miss Summerfield, 
" the secret of your power." 

My power 1 Imogene, the evening is plea- 
sant, though cool ; will you come on the lawn 1" 
And without waiting her reply, he cheerfully 
arose, took her band and drew her through the 
glass doors, and down the marble steps to the 
lawn. " Now, my power which power, Imo- 
gene. I have several." 

Listen, then ! Three years ago, before I had 
ever seen you, I was attacked with typhus fever. 
1 was in extremity, and a priest was summoned 
to annoint my hands and feet for burial. You 
came. I was speechless, sinking you gave me 
extreme unction your touch struck all the 
electric cords of life ; you prayed by me and 
your voice called back the departing spirit I 
lived ! I knew my life giver ! Explain that." 

" Imogene ! 1 earnestly desired your recovery. 
I prayed for it believed in it ; and sought with 
my strong electric life to galvanize yours into a 
new vigor; that is all." 

" Again ! we met around the death-bed of an 
old, a very old lad"y. We believed her dying of 
age, sorrow, and palsy. You were summoned. 
You anointed the sick with oil prayed by 
her, touched her and she lived! How was 
that?" 

"I said if this aged woman dies now and thus 
a young heart will be smitten with an incu- 
rable remorse through life ! I believed in the 
pn8ib ; lity of restoring even her. I prayed for 
it ! I strove for it ! God heard my prayer, and 
bleated my effort, and she lived I" 

A third time? My cousin Winny became a 
mother, and fell in'o a su Iden lethargy that was 
all hut death- HT senses were suspended. Her 
pulse was gone She was pronounced dead 
only you averred it was not so. You sat by her for 
hour*, with her hand clasped in yours. Life 



passed again into that rigid form -she recovered 
bhe awoke." 

" And when I felt the cold hand ^arm and 
thrill in mine, I laid it upon the, lap of her grand- 
mother, who sat upon the bed, and went out 
went to return the most hearty thanks for a 
granted prayer, that ever inspired my sou!." 

" There is something more in this than you 
have explained. At least there is more than I 
apprehend. Listen yet! This day, before you 
came, our company was formal, silent, stiff You 
entered, and the gloom was dispersed ; the for- 
mal became easy and euave ; the silent were set 
to chatting pleasantly ; the stiff unbended, the 
sad became merry ; the sullen gay ! Come, tell 
of this!" . 

" Imogene, I can better explain this! Imogene, 
you put a lump of sugar in a tasteless glass of 
water, and the whole fluid is sweet ; you put a 
few drops of perfume in a vial of sweet oil and 
all becomes fragrant. Imogene, everything in 
the material world has its correspondences in 
the spiritual. I am always happy, Icnogene ; and 
whither I go, I carry happiness. I am filled with 
faith ; 1 inspire others with faith. I am very 
strong ; I strengthen those I meet. I have per- 
fect health. My influence upon all with whc 
I converse, is wholesome. Are you satisfied 

"Not yet! By what power do you draw 
out? By what power do you calm my nerv< 
quiet my mind yet set me talking to talkii 
as I should never talk if 1 were not under 
species of influence, of which I am consc 
but which I do not comprehend," 

"By WILL, Imogene!" 

Yes ! yes ! but how does that will act uj 
mine ! Tell me." 

" You are scarcely prepared for that kn< 
ledge yet, Imogene; however " he fixed 
eyes with their dazzling rays of light, full uj 
hers and said " shall I Ml thee, Imogene V 

No," exclaimed Miss Summerfield, wit 
sudden energy. 

And again that hand sank slowly, lightl] 
softly upon hers and again the delirium of 
nerves subsided, and she grew serene and b( 
came cheerful. Rising, he left her side now ai 
went through the room, like a sun-ray spreadir 
light and cheerfulness. Many of the visitor 
present, saw, for the first time, their young 
tor out of the pulpit. All admired him; he drei 
all hearts as well by his perfect beauty, as 
the subdued joyousness of his expression 
manners. Only one dark form withdrew before 
him, keeping far out of his way, lurking in coi 
ners, gliding by walla, hiding in the midst of 
group or within the shades of a curtained 
window. Oae person that he had never y 
chanced to meet face to face Sina Hint 
Mrs. Summerfield rejoiced to see the new and, 
healthful cheerfulness that her daughter revealed- 
Ascribing it at once to the influence of her pas-i 



S H A N N O N D A L . 



99 



tor, she hoped that this might continue More 
than ever of late, she had been possessed of the 
idea tha*. her daughter's melancholy arose rather 
from a distempered mind, than from any exter- 
nal and tangible cause. She had been growing 
to believe Imogine the f-ubject and victim of a 
monomania. This she now hoped would yield to 
the spiritual influences of religion. And as the 
evening wore away, and she saw Imogene emerg- 
ing more and more from her moody abstraction, 
beaming into bright and brighter life; once more 
he dared look forward to the dearest object of 
her temporal aspirations her daughter's mar- 
riage with Colonel Dangerfield. Indeed she had 
most painfully felt that the delay of this expected 
marriage, without apparent cause or any expla- 
nation, had subjected them to conjecture and 
comment, ill to be braved by a spirit high as 
hers. Now her long depressed hopes arose. 
Night came. Her guests dispersed. Imogene 
made her good-night with a smile a smile ! she 
had not seen one on her waking face before for 
three years ! And there was a fervent joy in the 
good-night and God bless you, my child !" that 
he breathed in parting from her daughter at the 
door of Imogene's chamber She went to her 
own room, and having prayed retired to bed, and 
immediately fell asleep. 

" We war not with flesh and blood (only,) but 
With powers and principalities of darkness." 

Mrs. Summerfield ^as suddenly startled from 
her deep sleep, by something a dream a shock 
a sudrlen and unaccountable terror ; and spring- 
ing up in bed, shook as with an ague fit. A mo- 
ment passed so, and then the strong mental con- 
trol of the lady tubdued the agitation of her 
nerves, and she arose and struck a light. Her 
first thought was her daughter. With an un- 
accountable presentiment and a vague terror, she 
passed into Miss Summerfield's room She went 
up to her bed started ! suppressed a shriek at 
the appalling sight that met her eyes. Deathly 
pale, frightfully distorted, violently convulsed, 
yet sleeping still wa that form Oh, the 
agony ! oh, the anguish written on that writhen 
brow of the sleeper! Down and out went the 
candle, with her delirium of alarm. 

" Imogene ! Imogene ! awake ! awake !" she 
exclaimed, raising the girl in her arms. Miss 
Summei'neld slowly opened her eyes slowly, 
mere slowly than ever before, came back the 
ligat of her oul to them. Imogene ! my child, 
my child what is all this?" 

Miss Summerfield was now calmly looking on 
her mother's face. She arose, and giving her 
hand to that mother, said " And are your 
nights, as well as your days, disturbed by care 
for me, my dear mother ? Come, I will tell thee 
my 'ark secret thou shalt guide me Come, 
mother ! let ua go into your chamber here it 
is purgatory yottr room is a peaceful and holy 
heaven." 



CHAPTER XXXI 



THE DARK SECRKT. 

Question. Can nothing less than sinning sate the 

*oul, 

Can nothing but perdition serve to nest 
Our hearts? Festus 

Answer Man seek* happiness in low or unworthy 
objects ; that is his sin : he does not find 
it there; that is hi> glorv Dewey. 

"No, mother, do not light the candle, or 1 
could never tell you come, mother, sit with 
me on that low lounge under the window- yes 
draw the curtain back unclose the shutters 
let the still, holy starlight in there so that 1 
can dimly see your form while my fac is in 
shadow. Put your arm around me mother; let 
me lay my brow upon your so't shoulder- -so 
do not speak yet mother ; let m^ tell you as I 
should talk in a dream Nay, I am in a dream; 
let me tell you before I waken, or before my 
mood changes, when the rack would not wriug 
my secret from me. Are you listening, mother ? 
Press me elos~r if you can, but do not speak do 
not make me too wide awake let me speak, act, 
as in a dream " 

A gentler, closer embrace of the soft arm a 
gentle ki*s of the soft lips was the only answer. 
The day was near dawniug. The mother and 
daughter were seated on the downv bettee with 
their backs to the window One of the mother's 
arms was around th waist of her child, vvhose 
forehead rested on her shoulder; her other hand 
clasped that of Imogene. Miss Summerfield 
commenced in a low, monotonous tone, like one 
indeea talking in sleep and tearful of waking. 

< It is three years nearly four, mother ; since 
I went from home to school, is it not ? Well, 
mother^ I was joyous then, was I not? Life 
seemed yes, life was y very brilliant, very daz- 
zling to me ! I was filled with enthusiasm and 
joy! Perhaps the highest joy I felt then, mo- 
ther, was in the ardent admiration of my oj 
my of Colonel Dangerfield. Wherever I might 
be, I seemed alike to walk in the light of a glori- 
ous vision ; and the most glorious feature, the 
god of that vision wa Colonel Dangerfield. 
Yes, mother, whether when I was packed intc 
a close stage-coach on ny journey to school, oj 
in the crowded first-clas* room, or in the recrea- 
tion grounds, or the chapel, or the dormitory 
wherever my body, or even my intellect might 
be, my spirit was roaming through, palace, balls, 
grounds, with Dangerfie)d. The ring He placei 
upon my finger at parting, the miniature that 
ae hung upon my bosom seemed to me holv as 
the holiest saint's relic*. They were my talis- 
mans; I would clasp them in prayer; I walked 
apart as in a golden dram. Everything min.i- 
:rer*-d to this one idea - Dangprfield In all my 
occupations, amusements and studies, this was 



100 



SH A.NNOND ALE 



the Alpha and Omega- -the beginning and the 
end. Yea, this was the or-mre around which my 
whole life revolved. D/d I read history? I taw 
nothing there so promirent as tne noble Roman 
matrons, the noble wivn of history, and said in 
my profoundest heart, even such a wife will / 
be to my noble American ! Did I weury in any 
task? I looked upon my ring, upon his miniature, 
and said, for thy sake, for thy heroic sake, 1 will 
conquer repugnance, I will master this ta >k ; and 
then my heart would fire wi;.h enthusiasm, an ! 
the toil itself would cast a reflex pleasure, ex- 
quisite as profound 1 did rot mingle with my 
school fellows. AH deep joy shuns levity as 
sorrow does yes, more r| ian sorrow does. Sor- 
row mn.y seek to disguise or distract itself in 
levity, but earnest joy is always serious. So 1 
walked apart in a golden .'ream My compa- 
nions called me haughty ; my teachers charged 
me with absence of mind ; and they were right 
No nun among my teachers lived fcuch. an inner 
life' as I did. My life was 'hidden' indee<! 
with not with a < heavenly,' but an earthly 
( bridegroom.' Yes! I was indeed Glory's 
Bride' in imagination 

" Dangerfield was my enthusiasm, myworship> 
my secret treasure, and I would be glad when 
my head was on the pillow, and the real world 
was dark and silent, was gone from me, and vista 
after vista of the ideal *or!f, each more glorious 
than the other, would open before me < in the 
bright pageant 01 a midnight dream ' The great 
cities of the earth, the kingdoms of the world, 
and the powers thereof, passed in rapid and daz- 
zling succession a magnificent panorama before 
my mind's eye and first and laist, and most 
glorious there, lighting up my dream as the sun 
lights up day, radiated DAJJGERFIELD Oh! can 
1 make you see how splendid beyond one's bright- 
est conceptions of heaven these all-glorious 
visions were ?" 

" You loved him, Imogene ! Oh, Imogene ; you 
loved him so much ! You might have been happy 
as prosperous ! Alas, what followed ? I wait 
to hear." 

A profound sigh, followed by a deep silence, 
answered her. At last, 

" Do you recollect, mother, that I was scarce- 
ly fifteen years old then, and by no means pre- 
cocious?" 

" Yes, yes; 1 remember but go on or rather 
I mean take your time, my dear child." 

Mother, 1 loved him not. I never loved him, 
never could, never eon love him!" 

"(MOGENK! are you then indeed mad? You 
give me the history of the most rapt and passion- 
ate devotion, and end by saying that you did 
not, could not, can not love the man!" 

Mother, was it thus you loved my father ?" 

"No, not with such enthusiasm; he was a 
most worthy man, and I loved him truly, sober- 



ly, and faithfully j for I was a widow at eighteen, 
and never re- married " 

A long pause followed this, and then Imogene 
resumed the conversation 

'< No, mother, not so ; yoi- loved my fattier ; 
for you loved, and 1 did not my passion,, for it 
was a passion, if one ever fir*--' a human soul 
was of the imagination only it was i?ie fever, 
the enthusiasm, the very ecstacy of HERO WOR- 
SHIP ! nor more, nor less " 

"On, Imogene! there is something behind 
yet 

"There is, and yet Well! you know, mo- 
ther; or perhaps you do not know, that the Loly 
and secluded sisterhood are most voracious 
after news of the outside and unholy world ! Of 
all the dwellers upon earth, they are the most in- 
veterate gossips! They gossip <vitb the elder 
girls, for from them after their return from visits 
out, they get the newest newp, and to them 
they impart any morsel of interest that^bey, in 
the seclusion of their retreat, may have picked 
up from a casual visitor. Thence it fell out that 
from the sisters, at last, the elder girls found out 
the secret of my betrothal ; and then one by one, 
and little by little, they sought to edge into my 
confidence. One young lady would inform me 
that her father had been chairman at the great 
dinner given to Colonel Dangerfield at Rich- 
mond ; and saying that she believed he was of 
my neighborhood, would ask me if I were per- 
sonally acquainted with him. Another would 
tell me that her eldest sister had been on 
the committee of ladies appointed to present Co- 
lonel Dangerfield with a sword from the It 
dies of Winchester. I always acknowledged 
acquaintance, but did not encourage farth< 
questioning; however much the glow th 
would kindle on my cheek might betray m< 
Sometimes I would come suddenly into the r< 
creation room and find a group of girls discusBrnj 
him and me! heiress of an immense fortune,' 
yee! already engaged;' 'yes, indeed! I gu< 
he is ! my father says he will be Secretary 
War next term ;' I heard my fJncle Peter say, 
that he would run for Governor at the next elec- 
tion,' &c., &c, Alas! mother, I suppose you 
think I tell you all these petty details to stave 
as long as possible the truth " 

61 Nay, courage, my Imogene; I have 
very calm ; tell me now calmly what next ?" 

"I will tell you. 1 too am quiet now. 
dreaded the telling of this story, or the coi 
mencement of it, as one dreads the first incisu 
of the lancet; but now the pierce is past, 
vein Is opened, and the blood flows freely !" 

My child, talk plainly, quietly ; do not 
dulge in such ghastly metaphors." 

"I will not. 1 will go on soberly; for noi 
methinks it is more like a dream than ever. 
Mother, I lived in that world of ideas, glory ai 
joy, until typhus fever broke out in the school, 



SH A NNOND ALE 



101 



and I was among its first victims Our old 
Chaplain and Father Confessor died ; a successor 
was appointed temporarily to fill his place. This 
happened before I was taken ill, yet the succes- 
sor had not arrived yet. Mother, more than 
ever in the delirium of fever, was my mind ab- 
sent from my body not in a world of joy and 
glory as before, but in one every way the re- 
verse. Visions of fire and smoke vast sheets 
of flame scorched and suffocated me ; visions of 
blood sickened me with disgust and horror ; at 
one moment I was wrapt in the flames of a burn- 
ing city, and at another sinking in a sea of gore. 
All the horrors of all the wars I ha ever read 
of in history were re produced and re-enacted 
around me. All the fields of carnage all the 
sacked cities and murdered children all all the 
horror without the glory f And through all was 
that intolerable feeling of burning fire ! and that 
insufferable, loathsome, suffocating smell of fresh 
blood ! Oh ! it was horrible ! horrible ! horrible ! 
and more horrible than all, by a grotesque phan- 
tasy, as the presiding Demon of this hellish storm, 
moved hither and thither through smoke and 
flame and blood, the hideous, the blackened and 

deformed caricature of D anger field ! Me- 

thougjbt he gave the word of command hat sped 
the cannon ball on its errand of destruction into 
the peaceful town; with the ubiquity of a 
dreamer 1 stood within a dwelling with the split 
and blackened walls still shivering around me ; 
dead bodies in fragments lying about j gray haired 
women; little boys and young girls; innocent 
victims! and worse than all, oh ! pitying angels, 
a babe, the sole survivor of the family a young 
babe lay under a table with both its legs crushed 
off."* 

" Hush ! hush ! Imogene ! those ghastly visions 
of your delirium ! It was owing to the high fever 
the blood in your head!" 

" Sometimes my visions would escape from the 
poignant anguish of individual and detailed suf- 
fering, and lose themselves in a dilating horror, 
less painful because bewildering. It seemed that 
my de noon- warrior and bridegroom had built me 
a throne of the bleeding bodies." 

" Hush, hush, Imogene, you excite yourself, 
and terrify me go on quietly, my dear what 
next ? 

" Mother, this gradually, very gradually, the 
fire burned low ; the fever cooled ; the vision of 
flam and blood departed, leaving me only the 
haunting memory; then my soul fluttered 
floated wavered towards the light of conscious- 
ness and reason ; still it was not a recovery, or 
an awakening, it was more like a healthful tran- 
sition in a dream I became quiet, cool, moist, 
half-conscious of a cool and vapory perspiration, 
and a pleasant 'lumber. A cool, delicious touch, 
like a snow flake on my brow, at last awoke 

* Fatt Letter from Mexico. 



me. I opened my eyes and looked up living, 
sane, restored, happy looked up to meet a pair 
of eyes brooding over mine eyes so clea and 
pare in their beautiful depttis, tnat it seemed I 
could look deep down a boundless heaven within. 
Those eyes ! I saw I felt only those eyes 
they were another vision to me a vision of 
new life of love of joy streams of light pour- 
ed from their orbs into mine, illuminating, 
strengthening all my f being. They talked to me 
so much in that instant of time. They said 
Awake! arise! put on thy strength, for thy 
Redeemer cometh.' They said l Even as now 
has passed away that horrid dream of flame and 
blood, so will at last pass away all the crime 
and anguish of earth ! A.nd as now thou hast 
awakened cool and happy so, at death, shalt 
thou awake from the fever dream of time to the 
life of heaven, and to the eternity or good.' Then 
the eyes set, as the stars go down, or else my 
eyes closed on them to open on another and a 
celestial dream 1 heard a silvery rustle of 
pleasant voices and taw a white-winged troop 
of angels and lighting up the radiant brow of 
one were the beautiful, cleur eyes of my guar- 
dian spirit. Methought they hovered around 
a death-bed, waiting toe birth of the angel aod 
as they talked, it seemed to me that thi*- death 
was the second birth spoken of in the Scrip'ures 
that as the body is born into the mate- 
rial world, in the first birth, so the soul is 
born into the spiritual world at death the se- 
cond birth that the body must be delivered'of 
the soul before the soul can inherit the kingdom 
of heaven ! I realized then how death was the 
entrance into a vastly higher life.. Mother ! it is 
one thing to hear this said over and over again, 
until the words have no meaning, and another 
thing to realize it as a truth as the new reve- 
lation of a truth !" 

Imogene paused, and then resumed " So I 
floated about in the atmosphere of that silvery 
drfam bright, radiant, dazzling as a mist of 
liquid diamonds and t-till the sun of that celes- 
tial union was the cl^ar eyed angel showering 
rays of light as r-e moved. Such were the bliss 
ful visions of my reviving Hf>." 

Imogene s^opp>-d again. Day was dawning 
now. The early sounds of awakening life began 
to be heard turkeys rustling out of their roosts 
n the trees close by the w'v-t'nw, cocks c?o'ing, 
geese cackling. a> d the muffl d s u> d of cattle 
rising from their lair in the grass ; and still Imo- 
gene paused, trembling, as it were, upon the 
verge of her revelat on. And her mother silently 
p-res ed her hand. 

< Mother, >f.en by my bedside sat a form 
wh^se v-ri' preserve** diffused an atmosphere of 
lealth aroun<i me ; o'ten mv dry. hot hand was 
clasped by a large, soft, cool palm, that seemed 
;o have the power of allaying my fever; this was 
before 1 could converse, mother j and then at 



102 



S H A N N O N D A L E . 



last a voice fell on my ear a voice so tull or 
melody oh ! of more ! of faith, hope, love, of 
sobd.ied joyousness r.hat my heart which hud 
lai torpid or frozen through all the enthusiasm 
of ra hero-worship my heart now stirred with- 
in my bosom, like a r ew being, awakened by, 
vibrating to that sound. And, mother, when 
:zaze ? and voice, and touch were absent from 
my side, my life would sink, struggle, rise, and 
sink again the dark water of death surging 
around to engulf me And my spirit would 
flutte nver trie surface of Hades like a dark 
bird over a darker sea. But when that hand and 
touch came aain, it summoned me back to life 
to Heaven. Sn, vibrating between death and 
life, doubt and faith, fear and hope, gloom and 
joy, ray convalescence advanced ; and ever I 
cou d hear of an angel of restoration, who went 
about with healing on his wings among tue sick 
the sinful or the desponding." 

' Speak without metaphor, if you can, Imo- 
gene Who, then, was this missionary ?" 

*' He, too, I heard had left his books, and en- 
tered the army as a lad or rather I should say, 
followed the army, for his post way always in 
the tents of the ill and dving, or upon the field, 
among the wounded ; exposed to all the dangers 
of battle, yet never mingling in it. When the 
war was over, he returned to his books, to leave 
them soon, when a pestilence broke out in the 
city, and again his post was by the bedside of 
the ick and suffering, and such success attended 
tifb efforts, that many superstitious people be- 
lieved hi power to be miraculous ; indeed his 
medical skill was great, and the greater part of 
those he attended in the two-fold capacity of 
physician of mind and body, recovered. It was 
faith in his almost miraculous skill that had sum- 
moned him to our con vent. " 

" But WHO, then, was this missionary?" 

" Ah, mother, have you not divined? This 
gifted son of God, w&sClaitde Vellemonte!" 

" Our young pastor ?" 

"Yew!" 

" Imogene, you are fantastical. Why here in 
our quiet neighborhood, Mr. Vellemonte has 
wrought the same miracles, it miiacles yoi< 
would call the wholesome effect produced by 
his fine roanrood, that healthful, beautiful, 
trong and potent harmony of body, soul, and 
spirit, that invests the possessor with almo-t 
miraculous power over the nerves, and hence 
over the minds and bodies of less perfect be 
ings " 

"He Heemed to be charmed against 'the ar- 
row that flieth by night, and the pestilence that 
walketh by noon-day '" 

Well, my child ! well! what has this to do 
with your your secret your sin ?" 

Miss Summ^rfield shuddered within her mo- 
ther's embrace. 

'Everything! e^ryrhing, mother! this man 



bee \me-i8 now the day-star of my life! I 
loved t love him still! Yes, with my whole 
body, soul, and spirit! witb my whole being 
he became- is now, the central life of my 
heart the soul of my soul the sensormm of 
my spirit that part of me which shall be im- 
mortal or 1 am crazy !" 

The silence of the mother here was complete 
absolute. A long pause ensued, and then she 
groaned out, rather than spoke 

" A piiest at the altar! Oh, God ! the sacri- 
lege! the horror! the woe! Lost! lost child, 
why did you not struggle with it? Why did 
you not cling to your fidelity to Dangerfield ? 
to your enthusiastic hero-worship, rather ? 
why did you not wrestle with this terrible sin?" 

4i Wrestle y mother preserve my hero-worshij 
mother ? As well might night wrestle agaii 
the dawning of morning. As well might revel- 
lers, by keeping their torches alight, hope to put 
off the sun from rising, as I try to keep out this 
love by clinging to my hero-dream !" 

' Oh, lost! lost girl!" 

" I said it was bootless to struggle with this 
growing power, mother but yet 1 did struggle 
and suffered ! I suffered ! Mother, I had a 
fine vital temperament when I left home had I 
not ? My fore arm measured twice the size 
of my wrist. I had a fine complexion, too see 
me now ! ffesh all dried from me consumed 
the fervid heat of my -remorse. Oh, in chapel, 
after my recovery in chapel, I have set through 
a service, without once lifting my eyes to the 
altar- -knowing, feeling, that but to look upon 
him was guilt feeling, even in the love of hia 
voice a keen joy a poignant, piercing, thrilling 
delirium of joy ! quickly avenged by a horrible 
remorse. 1 absented myself from churc'i ; but 
can one escape from sin? No, no, the fever and 
the ague the burning and the freezing of alter- 
nate joy and remorse of anguish and ecstaey, 
convulsed my soul, even in solitude. Mother! 
mother! 1 am not exaggerating this destroying 
excess of emotion was stronger than the strong 
words I have used to express it yet I was not 
inane this was a delirium of the nerves * 
frenzy of excited passion but not insanity for 
though in this fever, flesh and blood were fused 
and dried away; yet never was my mind more 
active, more clear. I kept away from cnurch, 
under the excuse of indisposition, wnich, indeed, 
was the truth, as my looks must have testified ! 
Do you understand, mother, that it was remorse 
which 1 suffered from most ? remorse for feelings 
that 1 did not, or could not subdue ! A sense of 
awful gu'lt ; of awful sacrilege! Oh, mother, I 
was very nearly frantic the more so,that 1 dared 
not unbosom myself to any one I who for tri- 
fling error suffered such conjunction that I had 
no rest un il it wae off my mind by confession 
and absolu'ion I now bore this burning 
of deepest guilt, and dared not cleanse my soul of 



SH ANNONDALE. 



it! Mother, with their clear-eyed charity and 
sympathy, the good sisters suspected that my 
maiady was rattier mental than corporeal, and 
so they tried to ease and cheer me ; and lastly, 
mother, as the very climax of my trial, they 
sent Claude Vellemonte hmiselt to talk to me. J 
made an excuse, and declined to receive mm 
Tnen mo? her, I wrote to you, expressing a wish 
to rerum home you came and brought me here 
1 tried to banish ever? thought, every memory 
of Claude. I prayed, fasted, tried to lose my- 
self in f-tudy ) tried to uproot one image in my 
heart, and pi ait another there ! In vain, mo- 
tner ! I tried to look oa Colonel Dangerfierd as 
I had looked br fore to love and venerate him 
to belie v- 1 owed to him my very being Oa, worse 
than va<n. See, mother, what remorse has con- 
sumed my heart, for treachery to my betrothed 
husband! lor my impsous, my sacrilegious love 
for an anointed priest of God ! And when, after 
months had passed months of criminal love and 
consuming remorse, and ( had nearly withered 
to the ruin I am now, we met again, suddenly, 
unexpectedly, at the bedside of my grandmother. 
When I met his eye when he toucned my hand 
it was like a lightning stroke! The blood 
stagnated in my heart I reeled and for a mo- 
ment, lost myself." She paused, and then re- 
sumed, very gently, in a lower, quieter key, and 
in a thin and silvery clear tone " My mother, 
do you think I have been mad ? Yes ! since I 
left the convent since my return home, I have 
been mad at times sometimes frenzied with 
such a poignant sense of guilt, that I have 
thought in this sacrilegious love, I had commit- 
ted the unpardonable sin the sin against the 
Holy Ghost and then, indeed, I was often near 
Betraying myself by breaking out into actual 
raving madness ! Oh, often when you and others 
thought me so cold, so quiet, my superficial 
composure covered an internal storm, that threat- 
ened each instant to break out in open madness; 
therefore, mother, when you touched the subject 
of my secret anguish therefore I had to escape, 
for my more than life, ray sanity ! for I was in 
momentary dread and danger of losing the slight 
but perfect self-control I exhibited. There was 
but a piper wall between me and raving madness ! 
And i knew if this was once burst through, all 
was over with me ! I knew if I should lose my 
self-command I should also forfeit my self-re- 
tpact, arid the respect of others ! And with all 
my guilt and remorse, I was haughty still! 
Mother, 1 dreaded to meet him more than death 
and perdition ! 1 absented myself from church, 
and when he came to the house, I kept out of 
sight. I did not expect him here at the dinner 
party ; he came, and therefore I wa taken by 
surprise ! But, mother, now the mystery again, 
for after the firt shock o.f my nerves had passed, 
his glance, voice and touch had a magnetic pow- 
er of tranqu'lizing and strengthening me he 



103 

affected me now as he had in the first hours of 
my recovery from death-sickness. Mother, I 
know not the spiritual mystery of what I next 
experienced, but it was this I read Gud's mer- 
cy in his eyes heard God's blessing in his 
voice felt God's love in his touch. You saw 
how cheerful I was, mother. I retired to rest, 
an-d then came a re-action, a demon dream, from 
which you awoke me. Verily, we war not 
with flesh and blood, but with powers and prin- 
cipalities of darkness.' But, mother, that whole- 
some influence of yesterday evening has given 
me strength at last to confide in yon, and 1 feel 
better for it speak to me, dear mother." 

Mrs. Summerfield sat silent for a long time 
with her hands clasped together upon her 
knees with her eyes strained upon her hands, 
and a look of unutterable anguish on her brow. 
She was appalled by what she, like Imogene, 
looked upon as a sin of the deepest die, f>r which 
-earth scarcely contained a parallel or heaven a 
pardon. 

Speak to me, dearest mother ! Tell me now 
what I am to do and I will do it." 
. " Oh ! lost, lost girl I You say that you were 
not mad until afrer your return home ! Alas I 
you have bean mad from first to last I possessed 
of a devil one might almost think !" 

" Patience, dearest mother ! look on my poor 
worn face and you will have patience." 

" Oh ! Imogene, Imogene, this is the bitterness 
of woe!" 

" Look at me, dearest mother." 
"Oh, Imogene, my child, would that thou 
hadst died in thy cradle, in thy innocence !" 

" Oh, that I alone could suffer now, my mo- 
ther!" 

Oh, Imogene, would that I could suffer for 
thee ! 1 alone ! would that I could die, if that 
would cleanse thy soul from ita black guilt!" 

" ONE has done that for me, mother ! calm 
yourself, mother tell me, what shall 1 do?" 

"Oh, Imogene, the. tender arms of thu haly 
mother church are ever stretched out in mercy, 
in supplication to her erring, her sinning, and 
suffering children! Your hnllibnt worldly pro- 
spects have vanished in darkness,, Imogene! and 
with them all my earthly hopes of happiness ! 
No matter for your lost splendid p;o^pects, 
or my lost happiness, they weigh lighter than 
a feather against the heavy weight of this 
enormous guilt ! Repentconfessexpiate ! un- 
less thou wouldst be wretched in the next world 
as in this! Seek the confessional on Sunday 
after vespers and pour this tale of s>in into the 
ear of Father Budeigh! God and all His saints 
and argels be praised for the comfort of the con- 
fessional ! There, poor sin crushed child, thou 
must go ! Imogene !" 
"My dearest mother!" 

" I am half crazy with trouble. 1 have no 
confidence in my judgment ju-t at this moment! 



104 



SH A.NNOND ALE. 



but yours is an awful am and must have an 
awful expiation ! Imogene ! I need scarcely de- 
mand it yet promise me that what ever the 
expiation may be that he assigns you you will 
not shrink from it you will go through it !" 

Oh ! I will ! 1 will ! however severe ! how- 
ever repugnant ! however galling ! nay, the 
more severe, repugnant, galling, the more readily 
will I accept the penance as 1 hope for pardon 
as the Lord hears me !" 

" Amen embrace me, Imogene nay, child, 
weep for yourself not for me I am not well 
no^, Imo^ene, but but, I shall get over this!" 

The sun was now up and shining broadly and 
brightly into the chamber. The mother and 
daughrer > sorrowful but calm, and understanding 
each other, separated to perform their morning 
toilets. As Miss SummerfieM opened the door 
of her mother's chamber leading out into the 
hall, a dark form suddenly sprung away and 
fled down tue passage too swiftly to be recog- 
nized in the dusky hall where the window blinds 
yet remained closed. It was with a feeling of 
vague foreboding that Miss Summerfieid now 
sought her room. 

That morning after breakfast the remaining 
visitors departed, leaving the family at Red- 
Stone Hall to the quietness of their domestic 
circle. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

THE CURSED WITH SUCCESS. 

Vaulting ambition doth o'erleap its-elf 

And falls on the other side. Shakspeare. 

Now in despite of pride 

J T were worse than bondage to become his bride, 
Oh that this dotage of his breast would cease, 
Or seek another and give mine release 

Byron. 

Sina Hinton had outwitted herself if ever an 
intriguante did ; the had done too much and too 
well ; she was cursed with too much success. 
Wishing to banish the daughter completely from 
her fathers heart and home, she had exiled Ar- 
denne, broken the heart of Winny, and so opened 
the bofiom of Squire Darling for the reception of 
his suttenng child: that was failure the first. 
Then naving wihed to supplant that banished 
child ia the home, heart, and fortune of her fa- 
ther, she had played her part so well, that insteaJ 
of adopting her as his daughter, the fat and rosy 
old squ ri must needs fall desperately in love 
with her a<?d woo her as his wife I lastly having 
essayed througa the morbid conscience and guilty 
fears of tfce priest to obtain a perfect command of 
him, and through him of his most powerful pa- 
rishion'TP, she had overdone the thing so com. 
pletely as to terrify the poor old man into dotage 
and imbecility thereby rendering him unfit for 
her use. 



Now could Sina have kept herself the pure 
abstraction of diabolical intellect that she had 
been before, she had yet possesse 1 the satanic 
I power of working out of all these difficulties and 
profiting by her past mistakes. But under the 
j influence of a human love, however little it 
' might deserve the name, the demon-girl lost 
j much of her power. And this was the rise and 
' wogress of Sina Hinton's weakness. From the 
first moment that she had set her eyes on Colo- 
nel Dangerfield, his martial figure, handsome 
face and gallant bearing, had strongly attracted 
her. For some time she resisted this fascina- 
tion and resisted it successfully ; not because he 
j was the betrothed of another, and it was moral- 
ly wrong, but because he was the betrothed of 
I another, and it was useless and dangerous to her 
own peace and prospects. Therefore she wreit- 
ed her thoughts from this perilously charming 
officer and fixed them upon her plans of personal 
aggrandizement. So time passed ; but as it passed 
he found out an estrangement between the be- 
trothed pair, and with the newly revealed possi- 
bility her hopes arose, and with her hopes her 
passion ; and with her passion her scheming be- 
gan, Sina Hinton was always a regular atten- 
dant at church. It was not likely that a young 
laly so point device in matters of propriety should 
neglect public worship. Colonel Dajige; field 
from not any very fervid religious feeling but 
from a habit of childhood and youtn, not to be 
broken now, was always punctual in his atten- 
dance on divine service. His pew was quite 
the opposite side of the building to that of the 
Summerfieid family, but it was side by side with 
Squire Darling's pew, of which, since the mar- 
riage of Vfanny, the infirmity of the old lady, 
and the illness of the squire himself, Miss Hin- 
ton was the sole occupant. Now as Colonel 
Dangerfield would sit in that pew so cold and 
stern, he would some times catch a pair of large, 
dark, tender eyes fixed in mournful sympathy 
upon him, which would drop their long lashei 
upon a crimsoning cheek quick as detected. 
Such beautiful eyes ! they were veiled from his 
sight orly to haunt his memory. Hush! he 
would not whisper to his own heart he would 
not listen if his heart whispered it to him that 
there was anything but accident in what made 
that corner of the pew where he could lean at 
ease and see, without looking at, those shadowy 
eyes so comfortable. Nonsense f there was no- 
thing in it! that corner fitted his back, and the 
other the opposite corner was some bow left 
handed I know not to what, unless it was to 
S-na Hin on's soft dark eyes! But sometime! 
when the Summerfield pew on the other side 
of the church happened to be empty, Miss 
Hmton would prefer to sit there ; and some how 
or other he would find his old position uncom- 
fortable, and a change to the " left handed" cor- 
ner of his pew an inevitable necessity to rest 



SUA.NNOND A L 



himself. There was nothing in that either. Ii 
was v^ry natural he should get tired of one po 
sition a f ter a while, and as to his turning around 
like a needle to the magnet of Sina's dark eyes, 
that was prep sterous ! he had known Miss Hin- 
ton a year, and it was too aburd to think of 
falling ia iove with her now. True, however, 
he had never seen those haunting eyes till lately. 
The third Sunday, Sma Hinton purposely absent- 
ed herself from church to give him a chance of 
knowing how it would feel to miss her. And in 
truth, that Sunday it must have been because 
his ne.v suit of broad cloth was not a good fit 
*< those cursed tailors are so awkward, ' but no 
seat in the pew was comfortable ! he tried both, 
corners, each of which was infinitely worse than 
the oth -r ! then he tried the middle of The pew, 
which, wa> no better! and with all he was af- 
flicted with a creak in the neck and an obliquity 
of vision that continually turned head and eyes 
in the direction of the front door ! This grew a 
little better, however, as the service commenced 
and pvogf *-s<ed. I think that sermon did Colonel 
Dang'-rMd much good; the seed this time fell 
upon go >d ground and brought good fruit, as you 
shall presently see. The text For I was sick 
and in pnson anH ye visited me not," and the ser- 
mon by the inspired and eloquent Cla"de Velle- 
monte was upon Christian Charity and Brotherly 
Love. I nmt-d lately after the sermon, my colonel 
gets into K is carriage and is driven towards home. 
But after being driven eight miles on the road and 
within one mile of his own magnificent home- 
when he came to a cross road leading into Oak 
Grove, he calls the coachman and tells him to 
turn to the left, with the benevolent intent on of 
visiting and cheering Squire Darling, then laid up 
with his bruises. 

He drove up to the front door, alighted and en- 
tered the hall. Sitting reading in the hall was 
Miss Hinton A quick flash of malign mirth, 
triumph, and joy, irradiated her face as she saw 
him, and then it quickly passed away. Rising, 
she met him with her own peculiar grace, and 
invited him into the parlor. He spent an hour with 
her there he thought it was only five minutes. 
Then she sent to see if Squire Darling had awak- 
ened from his mid-day sleep. And soon the 
squire came hobbling in. Colonel Dangerfield 
was pressed to stay to dinner; and Colonel Dan- 
gerfield the sermon fresh in his mind kindly 
staid ; nay, he did more he spent the whole af- 
ternoon and evening, and rode home by star 
light, having first promised to come frequently 
a promise that he performed faithfully. Now, 
be it remembered that our squire had not Miss 
Sina H nton's lynx eyes, and swift and sure ap- 
prehensions h# knew no more than the man in 
the moon of any estrangement between his niece 
and her betrothed. If they did not hurry them- 
selves in getting married, he thought it was be- 
cause they were not quite ready, or rather, per- 



106 

haps, . never gave Vie Kubject a thought at all. 
At all events, his impression of Colonel Dauger- 
fieid was that of his being a married, or a naif 
married man, and therefore safe ; for, believe 
me, no other young man could have visited hia 
house so frequently, without exciting the jealous 
suspicions of the mature lover. 

It was not until his visit to Oak Grove 
and upon the day of the dinner-party, when 
missing Colonel Dangerfield from the company, 
he had been led to put some questions to Mrs. 
Summerfield relative to the reason wny the gal- 
lant colonel was not present ; why the marriage 
did not come off; when it vas expected to take 
place, etc. By her replies caut ous as they 
were he learned, to his consternation and great 
alarm, the estrangement between Dangerfield 
and Imogene, 4nd his suspicions once aroused, 
they fairly outstripped the truth, and now he be- 
lieved that Miss Hinton. in the spirit of co- 
quetry, had wilfully and wantonly come between 
the betrothed couple, and wiled away the affec- 
tions of the lover from his mistress. On ! what 
a generous rage he was in! He swallowed it 
He kept silent! not for the world would he have 
breathed one word of his suspicions to Mrs. Sum- 
merfield. No! he meant to avenge his own 
wrongs, and those of Imogene, in silence, him- 
self. He meant to punish the coquette but 
as he meant to marry her also, not one syllable 
would he breathe against her good name not 
one word that would lower the high apinion he 
knew his sister held of her Oi, no ! Squire 
Darling, with all his coarseness, was tar too 
proud for that His prospective wife must be 
actually sans reproche., even it she did not merit 
to be. She had wronged him, and he would deal 
with her for it; bu his wrong ai,d his vengeance 
should be a secret between himself, his love, and 
God. He took a cheerful leave of hi* sister and 
niece, making them promise to vmt him soon at 
his house, he bade an affectionate adieu to his mo- 
ther and little daughter, telling them that as soon 
as ever Winny should be able to leave her room he 
would come to fetch them home; he bade good- 
bye 'o Sina Hinton, saying 'hat the carnage-would 
return in the afternoon, to convey h-^r to Oak 
Grove; and so he left Red-Stone Hall Miss 
Hinton had promised Mrs. Suujme) field to re- 
main there that day until sunset ; and at sun- 
set the carriage having retur ;ed. she also 
took leave of the Summerfields, and left Oak 
Grove. 

It was bright starlight when the carriage 
rolled through the gates and up toe straight 
gravel road to the front of the old grey Hall. 
Miss Hinton skipped out and tripped up the old 
mildewed stone stairs, quite innocent of any 
suspicion of the scene awaiting her. 

Old Uncle Kill met her in the hall, and how- 
ing low, said, " Miss Hinton, marster in- ' me 
to 'form you eoo 8 <r, ,- ; M s*, 



106 



SHANNOND A L,E 



ho a^'d 'quest de favor of your comp'ny iu ^s 
owt: pa 'mem !" 

< W c',, Achillen?" asked Sina, cheerfully 
t '-. libra -y, his study, the parlor?" 

Dr- horary, Mis Hinton, if you please; I'll 
light v ou up." 

* Go on before, then, Achilles/' said Miss 
Hi ton, steppiijg lightly after the old man up the 
stairs. 

It -vas a long, snug room, carpeted, and witn 
a great oak fire on the hearth j Squire Darling 
was standing with his back to the chimney 
standing in the very same attitude the recollec 
tion of which used to amuse poor Winny so 
muchwhen Miss Hinton entered the room. 
He stepped forward to meet her immediately 
and taking her hand drew her up before the 
fire ; standing with his back to the fire he set 
her before him, placed his hands upon her slight 
shouitiers, and looked down full in her face. 
Sina *ras not annihilated, nor did she lose her 
presence of mind she dropped her sweeping 
black lashes over her dark elfin eyes, and com- 
pressing her lips and holding her breath, forced 
up as eh-arming a blush of bashfulness as ever 
beguiled a simple country squire out of his 
senses! Ah! bewildering was Sina then, with j 
her slight but elegant figure perfectly shown hy 
the closely fitting blue-black satin dress -with 
her long black lashes sweeping the now crimson 
cheeks the crimson lips compressed, and the 
long black ringlets drooping from her brow and , 
falling upon her small but beautifully rounded 
bust. 

" Come, look up at me, Sina ; I want to see 
your face.'* 

Sma raised her large dark eyes with an ex- 
pression of brooding tenderness to his face, to 
his eyes. He slightly trembled, like an agitated 
great jelly, at the witchery of that challenged ; 
gaze. 

" Well, sir! I am looking at you!" 

"Oh-o-o-o-oh! um-m-m-m!" groaned, blowed 
the squire, with the perspiration starting on his 
brow. 

Well, sir ! I'm looking at you !" 

" I know you are, you little witch ! I feel it, 
you little galvanic-battery! Drop your eyes 
this moment, and let go my hands ; do you want 
to kill me outright?" 

You have my hands, sir." 

** So I have ! I swear I did not know the dif- 
ferpnce Sina! witch! sorceress! imp! elf! 
wan ri nr> you to Satan ?" 

"You are ray cousin, are you not, sir?' 

Ye ! vi i Klibbertigibbit." 

Then I guess he was my uncle !" 

Hum. 1 shouldn't wonder if there was some 
impudence behind that! if one could get the 
time to make it out ! Sinn !" 

"Sir!" 

" Why ttie zounds is it, that when in a nt of 



vpry riuh>ous indignation, I send for you 
to take you to task to lecture you ; you look 
but in my ey^s, and 1 am disarmed ; you speak 
to me, and 1 am your slave ! Oh, Sina ! 1 can- 
not scold you now I forgive you, Sina Love 
me ! do love me, child rny beauty ! My sweet, 
wild bird, do not flutter away from my bosom ! 
love me! take my whole fortune take every- 
thing. I have everything you want ; only love 
me! Oa, Sina! are you ambitious? are you 
fond of distinction ? of admiration ? as it is in- 
deed but natural that a young vivacious girl like 
you should be ? Oh, Sina, if you are, 1 will satis- 
fy your ambition, your girlisn love of distinction 
and admiration to the very utmost ! You shall 
have the handsomest establishment and equipage 
in the whole State. I will pull down this old 
house, Sina, and rebuild it on a scale of magnifi- 
cence, that shall eclipse The Soldier's Rest' 
the famous seat of Colonel Dangerfield (set fire 
to him!) Oh, Sina! he does not love you as I 
do ! You will find that out, yet ! he wno can 
trifle wito Harriett hold on to Imogene, and 
coquet with you. He does not love you as I do ; 
for what woman do I seek, but you ? Every face 
looks flat to me but yours every woman seems 
common-place to me but you! Oh, Sina! do 
not treat my heart like it was a piece of tough 
beefsteak! you do, you bloody-minded little 
tyrant ! You cut it this way, and slash it that 
way and pound it tender, and then lay it on the 
the coals to broil giving it a turn some times 
Fizz-z-z ! Oh, Sina! have mercy ! mercy ! : ' said 
the possessed squire, sinking exhausted into a 
great arm chair his fair brow and fat rosy cheeks 
streaming with perspiration and fears, as he 
held out both arms to his little evil sprite 
" Come ! oh, come ! give me a kiss ; my heart is 
hungry come to my bosom once ; my heart is 
starving I'm a fool, a jackass ! I know it well 
while I'm talking." 

Miss Hinton wasn't Titania; she hadn't taken 
the love potion, and was not enamoured of the 
jackass. She didn't " come." On the contrary, 
she walked composedly to the other side of the 
room, pulled the bell-cord, waning a peal of 
rings, and returning to the fiie-piace, drew a 
chair to the corner, set her feet ui>on the fender, 
propped her elbow on her knees, and leaning for- 
ward dropped her head upon her hand, in an at- 
titude more weary thun graceful. 

"Now then, what the mischief is that for?" 
asked the squire, dropping his arms, sighing, or 
rather blowing violently, and guzing at her with 
watery red eyes. 

Before she could reply, a servant entered the 
room in answer to the belh 

" Is tea nearly ready?" asked Miss Hinton. 

"Yea, Mss." 

Tell Minerva to have it up in this apartment, 
and to make naste, for 1 am weary and nearly ex- 
rtHUsted " 



S H ANNO ND ALE 



107 



Y eS) Miss;" and the man disappeared 
Are you, Siua, my dear are you so tired ? 
Come here, Sina, my little girl iei me lay your 
little black head on mv bosom, and 1 will rock 
you until you are rested. Come, Sina f my heart 
is bursting give it sotne relief!" 

And Miss Hintoa edging cautiously around the 
room, reached the back of the big chair, and 
dropping her hands upon his shoulders while he 
could not see her witching countenance, cooed 
as follows : 

"My dearest, dearest friend my benefactor 
my more than father believe me, 1 esteem and 
venerate you beyond all ethers on earth 1 will 
be your daughter, your maid-servant. I will live 
with you always, and serve you faithfully but 
but but " here Sina dropped her forehead 
upon the back of the chair ; " but do not talk to 
me of love. It is not right. 1 am a great deal 
too young for you and too silly. How would 
your sister like it?" 

D my sister!" growled the squire. 
*<Do not say so how indeed would your 
daughter and son-in-law approve it ?" 

" Satan fly away wiih my sou-in-law ! What 
has he to do with it 1 Come ! I see how it is ! 
you wish to put me iu a rage! < Son-in-law!' 
I'm astonished at you, Miss Hinton! never al- 
hi! e to that pernicious feilo v again!" 

*< I beg your pardon, sir. Believe me, it was 
inadvertent. I am extremely sorry !" 

"Son-in-law! he! the d 1! you've added an 
other reason to the many 1 have already tor ha- 
ting him !" 

On, sir, forget it! I am very much griev- 
ed!" 

" I'll forget it, Sina, if you will come round 
here and sit on " 

" Squire Darling ! my dear friend, my more 
than father" 

" Zounds ! don't keep telling me that ! 'more 
than father!' presently she'll say I'm her grand- 
father!" 

"My kind, noble benefactor! listen to me 
listen to me I will be a daughter to you- " 

" FURIES ! who wants you to be my daugh- 
ter ? daughter indeed ! My daughter and some- 
body else's wife? Ha! set you up with it! and 
somebody els, too ! No ! you shall be my wife 
and anybody else's daughter you please ! Come, 
you have raised a conflagration in my heart, 
a! ft is not to be extinguished with a few 
You should not have done it! Young 
should be careful how they creep into a 
rt like mine ! it is very apt to close upon 
em! to become their prison yes, ai.d th*-ir 
inquisitorial fiery dungeon at tha ! You must 
oe ray wife, Sina! I positively will take no de- 
nial ! none ! Com- aroumi her*. S na, and sit by 
m>- ! Com" ! whv the girl seem* to have no 

i m e none! 
" S ,uire Darl n^., I - !1 come and it by you, 




but you must remember that you are a V.rginian 
gentleman, and that no gentleman of this chi- 
valrous State ever was known to offer insult -1 
mean to give distress to any woman orphaned 
helpless unprotected arid his guest!" 

" Come, Sina, come sit by me ! I will try to 
keep my senses if I can ! Oh ! Sina, Sum, Sma, 
Sina, you ring in my ears like the burden of a 
tune! Come!" 

She came around and drawing the chair to his 
side sat down. 

" I must talk to you right seriously, Sina, if 1 
can keep my head from splitting ! You've be- 
devilled me, girl ! You have been with me two 
years. During that time you have been to all 
intents and purposes mistress of my house aud 
servants during all that time I showed you all 
the respect due from a host to his lady guest 
did I not?" 

"Oh, you did! you did!" said Sina, clasping 
her hands with a touching air of gratitude 

(" Yes you did, you ugly old brute ! you made 
love to me all the time as much as I would le* 
you!") was the mental addition. 
, " But, Sina, you pretty little kitten ! yon 
wouldn't leave me alone not you! You'd 
come purring around me, and putting your 
little velvety paws upon me, and aes'ling 
close to me, and singing softly to me, and all in. 
such an innocent, kittenish, bewitching way, 
that that confound me! if 1 can help catching 
the pretty black kitten to my bosom, let her bite 
and scratch and claw ever so much I" and for- 
getting Virginian chivalry, honor, gallantry, 
hospitality, he suddenly caught the girl to his 
bosom nearly crusimg all her little bones in 
his bear like hug, and half suffocating her with 
kisses exclaiming between them 

* Aye, scratch and claw, my littla bramble 
bush! spit and snarl, and bite, my little kitten! 
H^y ! my little sal-ammonia! but you are sharp I 
you are piquant ! you are exhilarating ! Ha ! I 
wonder if these sweet lips no, these fragrant, 
poignant lips of yours are not that fountain of 
youth at which I shall recover youth again !" 

"I'll! I'll kill you! "exclaimed the enraged 
and half suffocated girl. 

" Kill away, my tigress ! kill away, my sprite. 
Oh ! it is so good to be scratched and bitten by 
you ! It must be heaven of heavens to be killed 
by you !" 

Sina suddenly ceased to struggle, burst into 
tears, and dropping her head on his shoulder, 
sobbed violently. And he ceased to worry her, 
and stooping over her stroked the dishevelled hair 
rom her brow and said, soothingly, 

" Sina, my little girl, hush don't weep I love 
you, Sina my love is honorable if ever man's 
ove was. It seeks to do you no ill, nor wrong, 
t seeks to enshr*ne you in honor and safety. I 
must marry you, Sina! Make up your mind to 
t, my little girl ! for there is positively no alter- 



108 

native. I must m.irry you, my little girl, but 
that will he th? very first and last arbitrary act 
i ever did or ever will show you. Oh, Sina, I 
will be so gf>od to you if you will only be my 
dear little wife. Child! I will love and cherish 
you mo e tenderly than man ever did woman 
before. Su -li a good husband as 1 will be to you, 
Sina ! Your every wish shall be a law to me 
and mine!" 

All this time Sina was lying in his arms, her 
head upon his shoulder, sobbing as if her heart 
would ureak, while he continued speaking softly, 

Child, haven't you heard the old ladies say 
It is better to be an old man's darling than a 
young man's slave?' I know my rival, Sina! It 
is Dingerliei (curse him). Little girl, will he 
lov> you as I shall? I am not only faithful, 1 
ain faith And he a young, gay, handsome, ce- 



never he tme to you. You'll have half-a-dozen 
unworthy rivals No ! he'll never love you as I 
do never ' and it i more necessary to a wo- 
man's happiness that she be loved than that she 
loves Come, Sina! forgive my roughness! I 
loved you so dearly. God help me ! it was an 
irresistible temptation ! the Virgin pardon me ! 
to have you sitting there with your hands 
folded* and your face sparkling between your 
black ringlets turned up to mine ! forgive me, 
Sina ! witn all my rudeness and all your beauty, 
nothing would have tempted me to treat any 
woman so, whom I did not intend to marry in 
gpit^- of all heaven, earth, and hell!" 

<>Ot! my dear benefactor, forgive me," said 
the wily girl, " for I have been violent too but 
you do not know how dear a never mind I You 
you will kindly give me a few days to think. 
Dangerfield, your rival! My dear benefactor, 
how easily these mysteries are unravelled when 
one has the key to them. Think now of Colonel 
Dangerfield seeking me to induce me to use my 
influence with Miss Summerfield in his behalf 
for .Miss Summerfield has discrded him, while 
he is fctill passionately attached to her !" 
) 18 j what him ? " 

Yes ! but this is almost a breach of confi- 
dence, which neither the Colonel nor the Sum- 
m^fieMa might like. I tell you this to tranquil- 
lize you, that is my only excuse. Pray do not 
ment'ou it to any of the family unless they first 
name it to you !" 

<Dis ! Wdl\ Now, Sina. say ! Oh, Sina, 
say! You'll be my dear little wife, won't you? 
Don't kf-ep me on the tenter hooks of suspense 
any longer. D>n't torture me again! Come! 
peak ; you trill, won't you ?" 

"My dear protector, please give me two days 
to think of it; will you?" 

Wei!, well! if I must, I must, without any 
sort of doubt. Here they are with tea." 



SHANNONDALE. 

And at tha* moment Neive and KU1 entered 
with two waiters, to arrange the table As soon 
as tea was over, Miss Hinton excused herself, 
and retired; while Squire Darling communed 
with himself to the following effect. " What 
Sina says, may be all very true ; and in the main 
I believe it is; but then again, I do not like the 
fellow poking about here so often ; and if I mo- 
gene has really discarded him what ev^r could 
possess the girl to do it? why next thing he'll 
be for consoling himself with some other wo- 
man. And what woman so likely as Sina? 
Finally! confound him! I owe the man nothing! 
1 am under no obligation to receive the man 
here ! my house is my castle and hospitality 
be sunk where the sacredness of hearth is con- 
cerned ! Ergo ! I'll forbid the fellow the house! 
and if he wants to know the reason, I'll tell 
him!" And the next day proved the squire 
quite as rude as his word. 

Miss Hinton was sitting at an upper front 
window the next morning, when Colonel Dan- 
gerfiftld rode up. He bowed low as the mane of 
his horse, in answer to her nod and smile of wel- 
come. When he alighted, she left the room and 
came to the head of the stairs, from whence she 
heard his brisk knock, saw a servant go to the 






door, heard his deep-toned voice enquire, Is 
Squire Darling at home ?" and the false answer, 
" No, sir." " Let Miss Hinton know then, that 
I am here," said the Colonel, preparing to enter. 
But the man held the door in his hand, and re- 
plied, in the face of the truth, "Miss Hinton is 
not at home, sir. She left here this morning 
with my master, to go to Red-Stone Hall!" Miss 
Hinton's face kindled with indignation, and she 
made one bound with the intention of running 
down stairs to refute the falsehood, when she 
felt her waist clasped from behind, and the hard 
voice of Squire Darling saying, 

" No you don't, my darling ! What you told 
me last night I believe to have been true but 
then it related to the past, and perhaps the pre- 
sent, but gave no earnest for the future. c Fore 
wit is better than after wit' A bird in the hand 
is worth two in the bush' and * It's foolish to 
lock the stable-door after the steed is stolen.' 
Ergo, I practice fore wit ;' I keep my bird in 
the hand,' and 1 secure my stable doors before 
the steed is stolen ;' BO be easy, my little 
girl !" 

The fell girl's brow grew black as night, as 
she turned away from him to conceal her rage, 
and sought her chamber. Squire Darling staid 
home all day. That night, after the lamilv had 
retired to rest, the dark girl stealthily left her 
chamber, (securing the door on the outside,) 
passed silently down the stairs, out of an end 
door, entered the stables, saddled a horse, and 
rode swiftly from the house. 



SHANNONDALE. 



109 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 
<THK SOLDIER'S REST." 

A palace beautiful to see; 

Mnrble porched, and cedar chambered, 

Hung with damask drapery : 
Boused with ornaments of silver, 

Interlaid with gems and gold 
Filled with carvings from Cathedrals 

Reccu^d in 'he days of old ; 
Eloquent with books and pictures, 

411 that luxury can afF>rd; 
Warm with statues which Pygmalion 

M ight have fashioned and adored. 
In the forest glades and vistas 

Lovely are the light and gloom ; 
Fountains :parkle in the gardens, 

And exotics breathe perfume. 

Mackay, 

Let me pick up some of the dropped stitches 
in this complex net. Colonel Dangerfield, im 
mpHiatelv aft-r his last recorded interview with 
Miss Summerfield, had hurried home. The 
next morning he had written hasty notes of adieu 
to Mr*, and Miss Summerfield, and set out upon 
a long journey. Oidy very recently he wag sup- 
posed to nave returned. He was now at " The 
Soldiers Rest," the modest name he had given 
to his magnificent winter residence near Win- 
chester Since his return he had not once ap- 
proached Red Stone Hall This, as we have 
seen, had filled the heart of Mrs Summerfield 
with uneasiness, roused to anxiety, when he de- 
clined her invitation to dinner. Well it might 
be so in a place where domestic and social pro- 
priety of conduct is so strictly enforced and ob- 
served, and where a departure from established 
rules of manners is visited with the same severity 
as a dereliction from morals It was well known 
throughout the whole section of country, that the 
heiress oi Red-Stone Hall was affianced to Colonel 
Dangerfield ; that she had been withdrawn from 
school to fulfil this engagement ; that Colonel 
Dangerfield bad made splendid preparations at 
The Soldier's Rest" for the reception of his 
bride, and gossip about the costly furniture im- 
ported from London, Paris, and Constantinople? 
was circulated with the usual quantum of ex- 
aggeration, until curiosity was on the qui-vivefor 
the day when the imposing nuptials should be 
celebrated, and the magnificent mansion with its 
superb apartments, gorgeous furniture, and splen- 
did decorations, should be thrown open to public 
reception and inspection. But days had chased 
days ; weeks had slipped after weeks ; months 
had followed months ; and the second year had 
succeeded the first, and no silver edged and sil- 
ver sealed cards of invitation summoned the 
neighboring gentry to Red-Stone Hall ; and the 
perfect repose of the Soldier's Rest was un- 
broken arid what had befallen the wedding? 
10 



The good people of Jefferson County, you may 
be certain, had something to talk about. The 
perfect sleep of the Soldier's Rest remained un- 
disturbed; the gorgeous saloons, halls and cham- 
bers remained closed ; all except the bachelor 
apartments of Colonel Dangerfield, situated in 
one of the back buildings. Tne curious passer 
by, peering through the semi-circle of lofty 
LombaHy poplar trees that surrounded the front 
of the lawn, saw only through their foliage a 
distant, broad expanse of glistening white mar- 
ble, with row above row of highly polished, Hark 
mahogany shutters, closely shut the front view 
of the mansion white, cold, impenetrable and re- 
pellant as the brow of its lady elect. 

But as in the woman, could you have seen be- 
low that cold, severe surface, you would have 
shrunk away in horror, scorched and blinded by 
the fire burning there, burning more intensely, 
consumingly, for its very suppression ; so in 
the mansion could you have passed those mat bie 
wails, and through those polished oak galleries, 
halls and saloons, you might hav* come to a 
room where the light of day was excluded, where 
among the deep shadows sat or moved a tall, 
dark form like a bad thought in a black heart 
a dark form, gloomy and glowering, upon'whose 
countenance the lurid glare of a red coal fire cast 
up a weird, demoniac light, giving the passion- 
ploughed visage a yet more fell and fatal aspect ; 
and you migat have fancied that this white and 
glistening marble palace was the snow-covered 
surface of a volcano, and this murky room, with 
its deep black shadows and lurid red light, was 
the centre, the forge, of the burning lava, and 
this dark giant moving amoug them the demon- 
prince of the earthquake and fiery irruption. 

And there might have been more truth than 
fancy in the conceit, for in that house, in that 
room, in that form, in that heart, lurked, burned 
the spark of a passion, should it blaze out, fatal 
as ever fiery flood that, bursting from the bosom 
of a volcano, buried a city in hot lava deeply 
wounded self-esteem jealousy that had outlived 
the love that first gave it birth. 

Now as he walked about the floor the fire 
casting his long, black shadow up to the ceiling 
he seemed restless, anxious with the expecta- 
tion of somebody, or something ; he woul'i go to 
the window, look out into the night, return and 
trim the fire, walk twice or thrice across the 
floor, open the door and peer out into the dark- 
ness. At last the light, swift fall of a palfrey's 
hoofs feil on his ear, and then starting, he seized 
a paper match, applied it to the fire, then to the 
wicks of a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, 
and lo ! the scene was changed as by enchant- 
ment. It was no longer a baleful, black figure, 
moving fearfully amid black darkness, made 
visible by gleams of lurid red flame. The rays 
of the chandelier poured down in a thousand 
rainbow-colored streams of dazzling light, upon 



110 



SHANNON DALE 



the rortn of a very handsome martial looking 
man in the prime of life, arrayed in a splendid 
unbresb uniform, arid standing amid a scene of 
luxury a sulrau might have envied. Of all the 
gorgeous apartments in that magnificent man- 
sion, none could compare with this small room 
foi the very perfection of its adornments. The 
chandelier had just blazed around, when the door 
opened, and Sina Hinton stood in the midst of 
the scene ; her small, slight figure attired in a 
closely fitting crimson satin, her jet black hair 
pendant in a mass of glittering spirals down her 
beautifully rounded shoulders, her thin, fierce 
face sparkling with excitement. Colonel Danger- 
field made an impulsive start, as though he would 
have caught her to his bosom, but with a quick, 
fierce gesture, she repelled him. Casting her 
riding hat with all its plumes down upon the 
carpet she threw herself into a luxurious chair, 
and Jay there, her crimson drapery warmly glow- 
ing in the light of the chandelier, her form and 
face palpitating, quivering, sparkling, blazing 
not unlike a small mass of fire, or a grenade half 
exploded, that still continues to jet and sparkle. 
Colonel Dangerfield checked the first impulse of 
astonishment, composed himself and approached 
her soothingly, 

Why, Sina, Sina. What is the matter, Sina, 
Sina ?" be said, cautiously approaching his hand 
to her head, and deprecatingly, furtively stro- 
king her head, as you would that of a fierce, 
beautiful pet cat you wished to caress, yet fear 
ed it should bite. Wh< then, Sina, Sina, my 
little salamader t my little fire queen, what is it? 
Who has set a match to my little powder maga- 
zine, now? Who now has fired my little gre- 
nade?' 

S _ie struck off his hand sharply. He folded 
his. arms across his chest then, and stood quietly 
and silently before her, watching her still glow- 
ing, sparkling scintillating with agitation. 

* Recollect yourself, Colonel Dangerfield, and 
reject wi," she said at last, fiercely. 

He remained in the same attitude, patiently 
waiting for her to recover herself. At last, in- 
spired by a bright idea, he turned to a small but 
elegant table, upon which stood several cut-glass 
decinters and wine glasses, and pouring out 
some wine, brought it to her. She pushed it 
away, saying. 

No would you add fire to fever ? Water !" 

Obediently he brought a glass of water, and 
taking it, she quaffed it at a draught. This 
cooled her somewhat. Returning the glass to 
him, she said, 

" Dangerfield, bear with me ! You should not 
cross me in a mood like this when the wild-cat 
is stirred un in me as it has been to-night I" 

" Compose yourself. S'na." 

< Forgi'' me another glass of water I thank 
you I am s^'dieri no * I hope. Dangerfield! 
you got my note ?" 



Yes, my delightful little torpedo, I received 
I your note ; and have prepareo my poor, lonely 
j apartments as I best could, for this bright 
! presence !" 

* Ah ! Mary, Virgin Mother ! am I never to 
i be free from this sort of address ?" 

" What meat, you ?" 

" Colonel Dangertield ! I have been indiscreet 
j in coming to your house; yet if you knew the 
i motive that has driven me to tbrow myself thus 
upon your magnanimity for protection you 
j would excuse you would pity succor the de- 
I fenceless orphan girl!' 1 wept Sina. bowing her 
! head till all her bright ringlets fell, veil like, 
| over her witching face. 

My dearest girl, explain yourself! do, Sina! 
Come ! I am your friend confide in me," said 
he, kindly taking her hand, and looking in her 
countenance. 

Sina turned her face away stooped till her 
ringlets fell and veiled it, and then said, in a half 
stifled voice, 

"How shall 1 tell you! how shall I tell you 
with this gairish light glaring around vrith your 
eye upon me ; how, oh! Virgin Mother! shall I 
tell you ! you of all men ?" 

" Nay now, I entreat you speak, Sina! Coi 
speak low ! 1 will listen." 

" Ah, Dangerfield ! can you not imagine 
only thing that would drive me from Oak Grov 
to seek advice and assistance of you whi 
no answer ! Shall I have to tell you then- 
continued Sina. in a smothered voice, buryir 
her face in the cushions. That, that, that Oal 
Grove, that Squire Darling's house is no long 
a fit and proper home for me! There, it 
out!" 

" Sina ! Miss Hinton, you surprise me 
measure !" 

"Is not my position a cruel one? Oh, 
it not?" 

" My dear Sina my dear youog lady, coi 
you not have sought shelter with Mrs. Surarm 
field " 

Ah, ir ! do you not see the reason why 
could not; the brother and sister the fathers 
daughter the uncle and niece, so long estranj 
so recently re-united ; would you have 
me, for any selfish motive of my own, howev* 
excusable, expose that wrong which would ha\ 
made more mischief between them?" 

Thi< was said wit l > an air of sincerity 
would have deceived an angel it thoroughl] 
gulled Colonel Dangerfield. 

Tru* ! most true, my high-hearted girl ! 

Therefore, sir, I came to you, as the 
friend I knew. I come to ask you to proci 
among your numerous acquaintances, a place 
governess in some gentleman's family for 
and to do it quickly ; and to consider with me 
how I shall g t off what uxr-use I shall make, 
so as not to expose Squire Darling to his sister's 



SHANNONDALE, 
Can you assist me in my de 



111 



indignation ! 
sign ?" 

Undoubtedly ! But, Sina, I love you ! lov 
you ! Let my love shield you from this servi- 
tude yo ; vvould enter ! ah, hear me, Sina!' J 

*' Colonel Dangerfield ! it is late ; I must re 
turn home,"' said Miss Hinton, rising and pick 
ing up her hat. 

But Colonel Dangerfield caught her hand, and 
gently forcing her back into the chair, said, 

" Not yet, Sina and not alone ; I must ride 
with you, when you go. And now you musl 
listen to me. 1 love you, Sina." 
Sir, I must depart." 

" Sina, my bird, you must not yet ! Sina, 
love you ! love you ; and youlove me ! Tell me 
that my affection is not altogether indifferent to 
you." 

Sir ! Sir ! those are words you should not 

speak ; I should not hear !" 

(( You love me, Sina !" 

"Let me depart, sir!" 

" You do love me ! every word and gesture 

proves it ! Now tell me why these words are 

wrong ?" 

Oh, sir ! for many reasons. Miss Summer- 
field- " 

"'Miss Sammerfield!' Well, you said there 
were many reasons ; what others ?" 

" Sir. if , Miss Summerfield were out of the 
question you are a wealthy man ! 1 a poor 
girl!" 

" Why, so much the better ! Come, Sina! any 
more reasons come come come ;" and with 
every word, he approached his hand towards 
Sina's curl?, as though he would have played 
with them but Miss Hinton drew off and re- 
pulsed him. . Never had Sina permitted him so 
much as to lift her dark little hand to his lips. 
" I assure you, dearest Sina, yon are a very in- 
consistent girl you are at once the most prudish, 
and the most indiscreet girl 1 ever saw ! Come 
now ! I challenge you to set* up another reason 
for me to overthrow. Ah f you cannot do it !" 
" Yes, sir, I caa," said Sina, turning suddenly 
with one of her dazzling, blinding smiles; "yes, 
sir, 1 can ! a rule my mother taught me before I 
ever left her !" 

" Good ! your mother's rule what was it ?" 
" Ah I I will not tell you !" 
"I insist upon hearing it. Come, your last 
reason for not. responding to my love ; your mo- 
ther's rule." 

" Never to tali; of love, till my lover talked of 
marriage /" said Sina, with an arch, bright, be- 
wildering smile. 

Colonel Dangerfield grew serious all of a sud- 
den. Hum. I think 1 do not misunderstand 
you, Sina! Tell, me! this old sinner this 
curse him ! I beg your pardon, Sina ! He was 
very rude, was he ?" 

The blood rushed to Sina's brow. 



" Rude ! he pursues me with a loathsome suit 
to become his wife ! he follows me from room 
to room ; my own chamber is scarcely sacred in 
his eyes ; he denies himself and me, to my own 
visitors ; he stays home all day to prevent my 
visiting or receiving company If I ask to go 
out. he tells me that one horse is lame, another 
broken-winded, a third has cast a shoe, and the 
blacksmith is sick, and so on. I canno r be alone 
with him a moment, that he does not press big 
suit ; but as for being rude to me that is the 
extent of his rudeness, as yet ; but 1 fear him ! 
he has no Colonel Dangerfield s fine sense of 
honor. I fear him horribly. I must leave his 
house. And that reminds me, sir, to tell you 
that 1 must now bid you good-night." 

" A moment, Sina ! I wish to understand you. 
Why did you not take day time for this visit ?" 

Because I was so closely watched ! I am no 
more than a prisoner at large at Oak Grove " 

Sina ! listen to me ! and reply to me as you 
list ! I will dare to be candid tor once ! You 
are an exceedingly fascinating girl You im- 
press with a keen joy almost painful in its ex- 
cess." 

" That's exceedingly candid ! lovers have been 
that candid with ladies since Adam courted 
Eve!" laughed the elfish girl. 
, " Patience ! you will have no cause to com- 
plain of my candor listen then You know that 
there is a betrothal between myself and Miss 
Summerfieid that is not yet broken off. I have 
had a very strong attachment to Miss Summer- 
field I I esteem her more higtily than any lady I 
know- I should be prouder ot her as a wife than 
of anybody I know am 1 candid, Sina?" 

" Well, 1 have a vague notion that you are," 
laughed Sina 

' Good ! No w I have a vague notion that un- 
1 find Imogene's affections have strayed 
(here Sina's eyes scintillated)- that betroth- 
rient may be consummated in marriage ; but in 
the meantime, my God ! I love you so much I 
what am I to do ?" 

" Pity this is not Turkey, sir, since you love 
us both, for then you could marry us both !" said 
Sina. 

Witch ! I did not say I loved Imogene ex- 
actly ! I love you. Listen hear me out, Sina! 
if this betrothment is broken off, and it will 
>e, if, as I said, Imogene's fancv has strayed 
here again Sina's eyes blazed) then in that case, 
Sina, I am a free man, with a free hand to offer 
vou ; and in that case, also, Sina, I had rather 
lave given fifty thousand dollars than that Squ're 
darling had ever been rude to you, or that you 
lad entered my house to night. ! My wife should 
be as far above suspicion as the star above the 
arth ! Do not turn away and weep, my poor 
girl! You were unfortunate, have beers i;>d!S- 
reet, that is all. You are so brav* an * pure, 
Sina, that you do not see lurkin danger, luiking 



112 



SHANNONDALE 



sin Come, cheer up, my own Sir a, and tel one 
if you koow and prove it if you can that lino- 
gene has been unfaithful to her contract? Say, 
Sina, can you satisfy me of this ?" 

Aud do you think, then, that I am so ba*e as 
to betray my friend ? Let me depart, Colonel 
D ngurfield, for it is clear that the longer 1 stay 
here the worse you think of me?" 

" No I do not the longer you stay here the 
better 1 think of you, my generous but wild and 
imprudent girl! Come, then, Sina, 1 will attend 
you nome, and see you again soon." 

tl Alas! where? for be you sure I shall not ven- 
ture here again!" 

f Nor would I have you, Sina. I will visit you 
at Oak Grove." 

Ah ! No ! no ! no . not at Oak Grove ! You 
would be denied admittance, and 7 should be 
persecuted afresh I" 

" Then we must settle where to meet as we 
go along," said Colonel Dangerfield. 

They left the luxurious room. He placed her 
in her saddle and leaving her there went and got 
his own horse in preference to calling a servant 
under all the circumstances, and throwing him- 
self into his saddle, he rode swiftly around and 
rejoined Sina A half hour's brisk ride brought 
them fo Oak Grove, At the gate Colonel Dan- 
ger field said. 

" Now, Sina, I must see you once more soon, 
iny dear girl, let me come here, that is the 
strath! forward and proper course." 

No? no! not here! not yet! Stop! 1 shall 
be at vespers Sunday afternoon. I shall wait in 
our cu tained seat near the confessional used by 
Father Burleigh ! that is a safe and most unex- 
ct,p lonable place of meeting, for I shall stay 
after vespers to confession, as it is Father Bur- 
leigh's Sunday in the box the Sunday after 
next being Mr Vellemonte's. Do not you come 
into my pe-.v until after vespers and after the con- 
gregation has left. Good-night! good-night!" 
A kiss, Sina, one kiss !" 
" No, no, I save such marks of affection ror 
my fiusoand, whoever -he shall be," laughed Sina, 
fli f i g taroug i trie gate and casting back a smile 
and glance so lull of glamour, that Dangerneld 
liked to have leaped the fence after her. 

"Ah!" smilerl the wily girl to herself, "I 
think I shall bring about something at this 
chapel yet. I heard Imogene's pretty love story 
oncrt I'll see if I can't hear it again in com- 
pany It is too good to be enjoyed solus. Amd 
as for Ddngerfield, he mu&t be the company, be- 
cause seeing and hearing is believing." Then 
he stabled her horse, and softly entering the 
house passed up the stairs. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 



THK VESPER HOUR AT SACRED HEART. 

Sunday came. The Sunday upon which Irao- 
gene Summerfield was, according to promise, to 
unburden her bosom of "the perilous htuff" that 
had so long lain and festered there. Miss Sum- 
merfield was serene, though still melancholy. 
The corrugated brow, the strained eye, the col- 
lapsed cheeks and angular lines of anguish were 
no longer visible nor was her sleep that preter- 
natural ecstacy it had seemed before. Sae wag 
in her chamber that morning preparing to ac- 
company her mother to church. It wa the 
habit of those families who lived ten, fifteen, 
and even twenty miles from Sacred Heart, to 
leave home very early on Sunday mo. ning, or im- 
mediately after a very early breakfast, and go 
church to stay all day, that is through the earl 
mags, the sermon, and the evening vespers ta 
king with them one or two servants and a ham- 
per of provisions. And it is one of the queer 
and picturesque sights peculiar, I believe, to the 
old and sparsely settled counties of Maryland and 
Virginia, to see the small country church, in its 
grove of trees, with carriages and horses tied to 
almost every tree, and after the sermon, negroes 
lounging about, or feeding horses, and famil.es 
at lunch in their carriages or even in their pews. 
Mrs, Summerfield, besides a hamper of prov 
sions for her own family, always took a bottle 
crusted port or of champagne, and some 
dainty besides for Father Burleigh ; and frequent 
ly after vespers were over in the evening, M 
Mattie Smilie would come to her pew door wi 
her round face, meek, chastened smile and pi 
sant voice, and press Mrs. Summerfield and 
< Miss Imogene" to stop in at the, cottage a 
take a cup of tea and some of her nice egg-pone 
to warm them before their ride home and 
frequently Mrs. Summerfield would smiling!; 
accept the affectionate invitation. Tnat little 
Miss Mattie was so neat and nice and fragrant ! 
though I think somehow or other the dear old 
soul never got any new clothes. In ctmrch you 
might always see her in a faded light calico 
gown clean aa a penny," and " neat as a new 
pin," and a faded, light colored clean shawl, and 
an old-fashioned clean straw bonnet, with- a 
washed and ironed ribbon on it, with a blue- 
white crimped, full cap border all around her 
dear old edifying face. And there was always 
that smell of fragrant dried herbs about her, for 
Miss Mattie's clothes, house, table, and bed 
linen, when not in uee, were literally laid up in 
lavender," or bergamot, or sweet marjoram, or 
sassafras, for her clean old chest-drawers and 
presses were full of them. And indeed in my 
infancy when I heard for the first time of the 
odor of sanctity," I thought it had reference 
to Miss Mattie, her fragrant dried herbs and her 



n- 

: 



SHANNONDALE. 



saints' relics. When in her extreme old age I 
once visited her, and she hung around my neck 
an Agnus Dei) a small pink satin heart stuffed, 
and in the very middle of the stuffing a relic the 
size of half a rice grain, saying it was the bones 
of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, and that it was 
a "protection against temptation" it smelt so 
fragrant of lavender and bergamot, that saints 
bones and aromatic dried herbs entered my head 
together, and have never been separated since. 
She used to make me fancy, too, in spite of all 
the glistening and bristling new finery of a 
country church, that light colored "fady" cali- 
coes, and old poke bonnets with washed and 
ironed ribbons, were the very neatest and sweetest 
dress in the world. One thing I felt sure, that 
Miss Mattie was the very cleanest, neatest, most 
fragrant little fat and rosy old lady 1 ever looked 
at, and the mildest, meekest, most composing 
and refreshing old lady I ever talked with. She 
had but one trouble in the world, and that was, 
as she would say, with her good smile, " Poor 
Sammy and his ways," meaning if you have 
" forgotten to remember" the relation Mr. 
Sammy Smilie of Harper's Ferry, and she only 
regretted her poverty because she would have 
no money to leave to pay for having masses said 
for the repose of Sammy's soul after his death. 

No bright young c hild, no beautiful and good 
girl ever brought more quiet sunshine into a 
church or dwelling than did Miss Mattie, with 
her edifying manners, as I said, half bonhoin- 
mie, half beatitude. She would mildly and smi- 
lingly exhort the rich to trust in God and try this 
nice soup, in the same sentence ; and talk of the 
joys of Heaven, and the juices of this nice new 
ham so strengthening to the stomach and so gocd 
to coax a lingering appetite, in the same breath. 
She would kneel down quite naturally and pray 
for the conversion of people's souls and the cure of 
their cholics, in the same tone. I am not sure 
when her chickens had the pip that she did not 
make it a subject of fasting and prayer. I knew 
very well when she lost her well worn and faded 
thread gloves, she fasted and prayed every day 
till they were found, for she told old Nerve so, 
who replied to her, 

" Well ! I should be afraid to bother my bless- 
ed heavenly Marster about such trifles." 

" But, honey, it wain't a trifle. It cost me 
three-fippenny bits, and I had not had 'em over 
two years, and they were jest as good as bran new 
except that there was about six or seven, or in- 
deed for that matter it might have been eight 
little darns in 'em; and that was all, and 
neither do I think that the Blessed Lord and the 
ever blessed Virgin is in defiant to what grieves 
their childun even gloves because you see, 
honey, J sinful poor creature as I am, pity even 
a little duck with the gapes, or a fly drowned in 
the water, and is the Lord any less loving than 
what I am?" 



113 

But this is a flagrant digression I must 
stop. Though I could go on much farther with 
details about the old priest's housekeeper, very 
interesting to me, certainly, but not so much 
so I fancy to you, and I some how regret that at 
the end of this tale of real life, I shall have to 
drop Miss Mattie without having made you ac- 
quainted with half her meek and enduring 
virtues. 

Mrs. Summerfield had put her basket of lunch 
into the hands of her servant, with directions 
to stow it away in the box of the carriage, and 
to mount himself, speedily, and be ready to at- 
tend them to open the gates, and then she had 
gone up stairs to see Imogene before their depar- 
ture. 

How do you feel now, my dearest child ?" 
she asked, stealing her arm around her waist as 
she stood before a glass arranging her hair. 

" Calm, mother, very calm." 

" I am pleased, Imogene, there is one thing I 
never mentioned to you." 

Well, mother ?" 

" That night upon which I woke you up, was 
not the first night 1 had watched by you while 
sleeping." 

"My dear, dear mother! did I merit such 
goodness at your hands ?" 

Yes, Imogene, my love, why not ? Besides, 
Imogene, I will tell you what now I fear you 
will never prove, in your own self, namely that 
a mother's love never slumbers nor sleeps. But, 
Imogene, there at your bedside I witnessed a 
phenomenon I cannot understand." 

"Well, mother?" 

Perhaps you can explain it." 

" I do not know let me hear it." 

" You but tell me first, how did you usually 
rest, Imogene ?" 

" Delightfully, mother. My life, indeed, was 
< two-fold sleep had its own world.' " 

Ah ! go on." 

" Full of bitterest remorse, and most insuffer- 
able anguish, as my days were, mother, I could 
not tell you how delicious were my nights, my 
dreams nor how the blissful visions of the 
night enhanced the misery of the next day. It 
was a psychological mystery, mother ! I had 
no control over my dreams. I have believed in 
the possibility of controlling dreams, but /could 
not do it. I would pray, read, fall asleep re- 
peating a prayer, and instantly be transported 
by sleep into another world into a higher, deep- 
er, broader, fuller sense of existence, into the 
midst of visions that would seem far more real 
to me than does this waking life." 

"And the specific nature of those visions, 
Imogene ?" 

It is difficult to recall them in all their glory, 
mother mother, they leave on my mind a vague 
memory of unutterable happiness, for which 1 
should nevertheless feel unmitigated regret, for 



114 



SHANNOND ALE 



listen, mother, mind, in all these I had one, 
but one companion the one that 1 have made 
my idol the priest, Claude Vellemonte!" 

" Oh, Imogene !" 

" Listen, mother, as soon as I fell asleep, he 
stood by my side ; we wandered, hand-in-hand, 
through marble halls, cooled with sparkling 
fountains ; perfumed with myriads of flowers j 
musical with millions of birds ; and thence, into 
the saloons, hung with richest and rarest paint- 
ings, with niches filled with marble statues ; 
through, into chambers of more splendor and 
luxury than Eastern poetry and magnificence 
could imagine ; and thence again, into gardens 
of more than ideal beauty, and exuberance of 
exotic vegetation ; and through orchards of rich 
and blooming tropical fruit j into vineyards, 
where the purple grape, like clusters of rubies, 
hung amid leaves of emeralds ; out into fields of 
ever fresh verdure, cool and green, and gently 
undulating off to the distant light-blue, transpa- 
rent horizon ; through forests of mighty trees ; 
and at every step the vision extended, or our 
souls expanded, and the horizon grew wider, and at 
last we took in the whole earth, from pole to pole, 
with its mighty oceans, studded with green tro- 
pical, and with icy arctic and antarctic isles, 
with its navies and sea-ports ; the broad conti- 
nents, with their long rivers, lofty mountains, 
burning volcanoes, nation?, kingdoms, towns and 
cities ! All these passed in panorama before 
our vision ! Yet, mother, in all this, my happi- 
ness the very climax of my joy was by my 
side ! Can I tell you how we talked 1 The 
earth floated off below, as we soared into space. 
Then, looking down, we saw the floating globe. 
That vision of the earth, seen from above, is 
distinct in my memory. The great globe of 
forest-covered land, and isle-studded water, with 
the Northern icebergs glancing in the sun. I 
never realized how little room the cities, towns 
and villages all the dwelling places of man, 
took up in the green earth, till I saw it in my 
dream, floating below me, like a ball of green 
and variegated land, sparsely enameled with 
cities; and of blue water, thinly dotted with 
islands. Then, mother! what shall I tell you 
of the glory of the heavens, as seen in my vision 
worlds oh, as far more glorious than thit, as 
the sun at noon-day is more glorious than a taper. 
I tire you, mother.." 

No but that will do I understand now the 
happiness of your sleep. I have heard physi- 
cian* say, that some mindr, absorbed in sorrow 
all day, will, by a natural re-action, a merciful 
law of our being pass into another set of ideas, 
and dream blissfully at night. I sometimes 
thought of that while watching you." 

"Ab, my dear mother, how you lost your 
ret for your brain-sick, heart-sick child. But ah ! 
the sin of my blissful dreams was their travel- 
ling companion." 



"No more of that, dear Imogene. This even- 
ing you will cleanse your soul of that involunta- 
ry sin. Come, Imogene, it is time to go, my 
dear." 



Sina, I shall go with you to church, to-day," 
said Squire Darling to Miss Hinton, that morn- 
ing at breakfast. 

" Shall you, sir?" asked the young lady. 

Yea, I shall ; and 1 shall stay all day, and 
return with you after vespers." 

<* Do you not think it will be too much for 
you, sir? Recollect, you have not ridden so 
far yet nor have you yet attempted to sit up 
all day, without your mid- day nap." - 

Tender creature ! I can take my mid-day 
nap in my comfortably cushioned pew, between 
morning and evening service, as well as not so 
please to have a chicken fried, and some ham, 
and tongue, and pickles, with bread and butter, 
and a bottle of sherry, put up in a basket, Miss 
Hinton." 

"Certainly, sir. 

"By-the-way have you seen Colonel D? 
gerfield lately, Sina ?" 

"No, sir." 

When did you see him last ?" 

Upon the morning Friday morning, I be- 
lieve it was, when you denied yourself and 
to him!" 

Is that intended aa a reproach, Sina ? Y< 
I did deny you to him, my little dear ! my tor- 
menting little joy ! my sweet, gweet Sina ! 
you think, my pet, my little black bantam 
let, that I am going to let that cockerel of 
young officer plume his gay feathers, and sm 
about my barn door ? No indeed, Sina f 
besides, pretty little black-haired Sina, I am 
ing to church with you to day, to take care 
you! Ah! Sina, I shall have twice as much 
joy of you, my little crab-apple, because 1 knoi 
that fellow in the moustaches and epaulettes ii 
dished, confound him ! No, Sinetta ! 1 do n< 
mean once to lose sight of you, until the law he 
given me a property in you, and a right 
break any civil or military coxcomb's head wl 
dares to know whether you are handsome 01 
homely! What! the mischief! a girl 1 have 
had in my house two years ! and loved all th 
time for a blue and buff fellow, with a couple 
epaulettes, to come to intrude to invade my 
house, and want to rob me of its dearest tr 
sure, its brightest ornament? No, indeed I The 
d 1 flyaway with all dandies, civil and military, 
I say! They are in league against the unit} 
of my home, and the peace of my heart ! Ont 
sonnetizing, musickizing fellow carries off 
daughter, which was bad enough and now ai 
other Signior Don Monsieur Orlando Moustacl 
wants to carry off my sweet-heart, which is in- 
finitely worse ! Thunder and lightning ! it's a 



wonder I had not broke the fellow's head when 
he --ame here last Friday morning!" 

' Squire Darling, I told YOU before, and I tell 
you a^ain, Colonel Dangerfield is not, and never 
can be your rival !" 

'And 1 know better, pepper-pod! you little 
viper you ! I know that every unmarried man in 
the parish is my rival ! Haven't I eyes ?" 

" UVe them then, sir, and see a little, pale, 
hard-favored girl, whom nothing but her black 
eyes and black hair redeems from utter hideous- 
ness 

" Ah, good ! nothing but black eyes ! and 
in ttiem a spell, a glamour, a power that would 
wile an arch-angel from heaven ! You take a 



NOND ALE. us 

saw approaching the church. She smilingly 
greeted tnat lady, as she alighted trofe the car- 
riage, and she affectionately saluted Imogene, 
whose high, pale brow, dark, serious eye*, and 
serene lips whose whole sweet, solemn coun- 
tenance, wore the expression of rapt religious 
abstraction and exaltation As if absorbed in 
high and fervid devotion, aad fearing to break 
her train of thought and feeling, Imogene mere- 
ly silently pressed Miss Mattie's nand, as she 
passed on, and immediately entered tbe church 
and her pew. Mrs. Summerfield followed, and 
took a seat by her xide. accompanied by Miss 
Mattie, who passed on to her own pew, at the 
upper end of the church. These were scarcely 



raking aim at a man with those eyes, aud he is seated when another party entered namely : 
perforated through and through annihilated, j our stout and fair-haired squire, strutting potn- 



and reels and staggers like a ship before it set- 
tles and sinkfic Nothing but you; eyes! Good! 
the bird has nothing but her song ; the sphynx 
nothing but her riddle ; Jupiter nothing but his 
thunder-bolt ; and you! nothing but your eyes /" 

" It seems to me, sir, that you are angry 
with me without a cause. Your manner toward 
me is as full of hatred, as of friendship !" 

*' A.h, Sina, I am provoked. Set fire to that 
fellow ! why the furies didn't I shoot him ?" 

"Indeed you terrify me, Squire Darling." 

" Well then, let me marry you, Sina, and it 
will all be over Come, what hinders, this 
morning in cburch before mass. Come, Sina, 
let it be so ! Oh, Sina, I will take such good 
care of you. I will treat you so well love you 
so dearly come, Sina!" 

Squire Darling, you promised not to mention 
this subject to me again for four days." 

" Four days ! by the d 1 and all his angels I 
Four days, when it was only two wheo the 
tous are out, she'll say eight then sixteen, and 
next, tnirty-two !" 

" No, I will not, sir, indeed I will not. It was 
four days they will be out on Wednesday even- 
ing, and on Wednesday evening I will give you 
an answer." 

You will ?" 

Indeed I will !" 

Without fail ?" 

"Without fail!" 

"We'll see! Come, it is time to be off to 
church." 

Miss Mattie, in the Sacred Heart parsonage, 
as getting ready for mass, mildly lecturing 
Harhette between times, upon sundry improprie- 
ties, and disorders of dress and manners, to 
which the merry girl was particularly addicted. 
And as soon as she was ready, she went out in 
her old-fashioned straw bonnet and faded buff- 
white shawl, and frock, and well thumbed 
mass-book, and pocket handkerchief, scented 
with a sprig of lavender between its folds, to 



pously on, wiping the perspiration from his rosy 
face with his scarlet bandanna pocket-handker- 
chief in one hand, while under the other arm 
was securely tucked his little evil sprite, Sina, 
in her tight-fitting, fiery crimson satin, and long, 
jetty ringlets, and perilous eyes. The dangerous 
eyes were cast demurely down, and the long, 
black lashes and ringlets drooping. On strutted 
our squire, clipping her little arm close to his 
side, witfi his head erect, shoulders thrown 
back, chest expanded, and every gesture breath- 
ing determination and defiance, to what, or of 
whom who could tell? Sina, possibly. He 
passed Sina into his pew, and closing the door, 
seated himself by her side, and between her and 
everybody else, just as the altar door opened, 
and Mr. Vellemonte appeared in his surplice, 
followed by six lads, as sacristans. Soon the 
sublime chant of the miserere commenced, fol- 
lowed by the oremus, and then the Holy Mass. 
The sermon from the text, " Love one another," 
was eloquent with that spirit of light and love 
that peculiarly distinguished Mr Vellemonte's 
preaching. At the close of the sermon, when 
he came down from the pulpit, and passed on 
before the altar, his countenance was elevated, 
irradiated with a high, celestial inspiration. 
" His face was as the face of an angel." Imo- 
gene, too, had caught from him the spirit of reli- 
gious ecstacy, and sat there in her pew, rapt m 
a sort of inspired trance. When the congrega- 
tion were retiring, little Miss Mattie, breathing 
of bergamot through all her clean, faded clothes, 
came up to the pew door to ask Mrs. Sumtner- 
field if she would not come into the cottage, and 
stay to vespers. There was a fine fire in the 
cottage parlor, and she was going to get a cup 
of strong coffee, as the day was chilly, she said. 
Now Mrs Summerfield knew that the contents 
of her hamper would be a valuable addition to 
the meagre cottage fare, and therefore she at 
once accepted the invitation, giving orders to 
her servant to take the hamper into the parso- 
nage. Squire Darling now came up, with his 



meet Mrs. Summerfield, whose carriage she i little inflammation of the heart still tucked under 



116 



SHAN NOND ALE. 



his arm, and greeted his sister and nice--. He 
and his bifein-fever joined the cottage party, 
and ordered off their basket in the track of Mrs. 
Su-.imerfield's hamper. Miss Summerfield re- 
quested to be left alone in the church. Her 
wish excited no surprise. It was not unusual 
such retirement, for self-examination and prayer 
in the time of Lent. So Imogene was left to 
her meditations in the lonely church, while the 
rest of the party migrated to the cottage parlor. 
In their route thither, they passed several par- 
ties, like themselves, coming from a distance, 
and staying all day at church. Dear little Miss 
Mattie smiled, and nodded meekly, as she pass- 
ed them, looking very much as though she would 
like to have them 'all along, but that was im- 
possible the tiny cottage not having the capa- 
cities of a large hotel for accommodation ; so 
Miss- Mattie had to content herself with promis- 
ing mentally to invite some Among them next 
Sabbath, and all, each in their turn. Squire 
Darling followed last of all, with his little ring- 
letted infatuation still hanging on his arm. 

Ah, my little Carditis ! he wasn't here to- 
day ! Isn't it a pity, now ? My dear little blaze, 
I'm sorry for you you burn quite blue upon the 
occasion !" 

<< I do not in the least understand you, Squire 
Darling!" 

s Don't it the innocent ! Colonel Danger- 
field was not at church this morning ! JJ 

Was he not I did not observe." 

" Oh ! ho ho ho ho ! as if one could be- 
lieve that !" 

The fat squire was in an angry, jealous, mock- 
ing, yet triumphant mood. 

Miss Hinton dropped her long, black lashes, 
and long, black ringlets, and looked persecuted 
and patient. She was temporarily delivered 
from her tyrant, at the pic-nic dinner-table in 
the cottage kitchen. 

Evening came. Vespers were over. The con- 
gregation were departing. Squire Darling with 
a look of huge gratification tucked his beautiful 
crimson sin under his arm, and prepared for a 
start, saying, brutally, 

" Ah ! my dear Cardialgy* not here this 
evening either ! however, misery likes company, 
my dear Ruby, and there is Miss Harry, whose 
heart is breaking too, in the same cause and 
there is my superb niece looking like a martyr, 
infatuated with the stake ! Come along, Cardi- 
algy, let us go home." 

Thank you sir ! I have accepted an invita- 
tion from Mrs. Summerfield, to return with her 
to-night!" said Miss Hinton, with a look of 
malice. 

" The d 1 you have !" exclaimed the thun- 
derstruck and enraged squire. 

* Heart-bum 



It was no use though. His anger was per- 
fectly impotent. He was tempted to go to his 
sister, with Sina under his arm. and say to her, 
* Here ! this is the cause of the fatal estrange- 
ment between Dangerfield and Imogene," but 
as I said before, in his greatest fury, Sina's honor 
was not forgotten. He would bitterly upbraid 
and brutally tyrannize over her himself, but he 
would not expose her to the slightest reproach 
from any other so the squire bolted his fury, 
and took leave of Sina and his sister, telling her 
that he should send the carriage for Miss Hinton, 
early the next morning. Mrs. Summerfield went 
again into the cottage, to wait until her daugh- 
ter's religious exercises were over. Father Bur- 
leigh went into the confessional. 

Miss Summerfield her pale brow still lumi- 
nous with the glory of inspiration, passed on to 
the church. The inside of the church- the 
splendid altar the gorgeous pictures were all 
glorious in the golden lustre of the setting sun, 
that pouring through the western windows, yel- 
low-flooded the whole scene. The altar occu- 
pied the centre of the north end the pulpit 
the right hand corner, and the confessional the 
left hand ; both these were hung with scarlet 
drapery, and glowed hotly in the sunshine a few 
moments and then even as Imogene entered 
the confessional the sun's disc dropped behind 
the near mountain, and the whole church fe. 
into sudden gloom. 

It was about this time, that Sina expressin 
a wish to retire to the church and prepare her 
soul by self-examination and prayer, for the sa- 
crament of confession left Mrs. Summerfield. 
It was deep twilight gloom, when she softl 
glided in her serpentine motion up the aisle an 
slipped into a closely curtained box, near t 
confessional, and never used but as a place 
strict retiracy for meditation, previous to 
fession. 

She had been here perhaps five minutes, w 
the curtains were parted and another person e 
tered. It was Col. Dangerfield. He pressed h 
hand in silence, ' awed by the holy stillness 
the place, and passed on to the seat she indica 
on the other side of herself, and nearest the co 
fessional. He sat down and turned to speak 
her when she raised her finger to her lips, i 
token of silence, just as the profound stillness 
the church was broken by the low tones of 
deep, rich voice, saying "Blesi me, Father, 
cause I have sinned." He recognized Imoge 
full, round tones, in the opening of the rit 
There was a pause disturbed by the solemn, b 
inaudible voice of the aged priest. Col. Dan 
field with a start of surprise got up woul 
have left the pew, but that Sina put her hand 
upon him, with an imploring look, and pressed 
him down into his seat, just as Miss Summer- 
field's low, melodious voice was heard again in 
the comfiteor but the words were nearly inau- 



IU 

: 



SHANNONDALE 



117 



dible, until she was heard to murmur, " I accuse 
myself of having given to the creature the love 
the adoration -the worship due only to God ." 
Then, her voice was again inaudible during the 
five or ten minutes that her rich, deep tones 
trembled onward in her story. Then her voice 
ceased. There was a dead, dead pause. 
Again Colonel Dangerfield started to leave, but 
Sina turning very pale, leaned against the front 
of the pew, barricading the door, and signed to 
him that she felt extremely agitated horrified 
by what it appeared she had heard, though he 
had not ! she signed to him to wait a moment, 
until she should have recovered herself. He 
dropped again into his seat, with a dark frown 
of impatience. This eaves-dropping, although 
it was, on his part, and he believed on Sina's, 
quite involuntary, and although he actually as 
yet, had heard little or nothing, was neverthe- 
less, extremely repugnant to his sense of honor. 
Now the deep, stern, awful voice of the priest 
aros^ yes, deep, stern and awful as that of the 
Judge at the last day falling'upon the ears of 
the stout soldier, and of the little demon by his 
side, with awful impression with the thunder 
of the final doom. The first words of the so- 
lemn denunciation were lost, and nothing was 
heard distinctly until he said, 

" And lastly, oh, thou pernicious girl ! since 
thou hast dared in defiance of God's blighting 
curee, to lift thy impious thoughts and sacrilegi 
ous eyes up to the Lord's annointed the holy 
one of Israel the beloved son of Christ the 
gifted young brother whose exalted piety has 
endowed him, in the opinion of the people, with 
the gift even of miracles -hear thy sentence ! 
through thy very sin shalt thou do penance I 
through thy very sin shalt thou have added to 
the fires of consuming remorse the shame of 
utter self-abasement, and of utter humiliation ! 
Hear ! To this pure and holy man shalt thou go, 
and to him, who, in the untarnished image of 
his Maker, is of too pure eyes to behold iniquity, 
to him shalt thou confess thy impious thy sa- 
creiigious love that in his utter loathing of thy 
degradation and thy guilt, thou mayest grow to 
apprehend its enormity; and from him shalt thou 
receive the sentence of penance, he shall think 
most necessary to expiate thy atrocious crime, 
and to save thy else too surely lost soul, from ut- 
ter perdition!" 

A long, low scream of "mercy! mercy!" a 
heavy fall and then Colonel Dangerfield, start- 
ing to bis feet, upsetting his little devil in his 
haste, and rushing to the confessional, raised the 
fainting form of Imogene Summerfield, and bore 
it from the church, and into the cottage, 
**** 

An hour afterwards, Imogene opened her eyes. 
The sname, the terror, the anguish, were all 
gone Her face revealed a heavenly serenity 
nay, indeed, it seemed that while her body had 



besii lying in insensibility, her soul must have 
been in heaven, and received some divine inspi- 
ration, for when she opened her eyes, her coun- 
tenance beamed with a celestial glory, even on 
the stern old priest bending over her bed ; and 
her tones were full of earnest love when taking 
his hard, old hand between her own, she said, "I 
thank you for making him my judge! I accept 
it ! to him will I reveal my whole soul from 
him receive my sentence and suffer it, what- 
ever it be, with, oh ! how much joy !" 

" Sina, I am free ! Sina, will you have me ?" 

"Yes." 

Then, Colonel Dangerfield folded the wily sy- 
ren to his bosom, imprinting on her lips the very 
first kiss she had ever permitted, deeming him- 
self very blest." 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

THE DEMONIAC 

i I am disgraced, impeached and baffled here; 
Pierced to the soul with anger's venomed spear ; 
The which no balm can cure but his heart's blood, 
Which breathed this poison. Shakspeare 

True to his promise or his threat, Squire Dar- 
ling had sent his carriage over to Red Scone 
early the next morning ; and as Mrs. Summer- 
field, pre-occupied and abstracted did not i hink 
to invite Miss Hinton to prolong her stay at Red- 
Stone, our syren had no alternative but to return 
to her hated home. As she was about to enter 
the carriage, a servant of Colonel Dangerheld's 
rode up and put a note in her hand. She opened 
it hastily and read 

SOLDIER'S REST. Monday, April 1st. 
MY DEAREST SINA : I have been thrown from 
my carriage and have been laid up all day with 
a spiained ankle nothing ^orse, only that it 
prevents me having the pleasure of seeing my 
dear girl to-day, and waiting upon Squire Dar- 
ling, as I intended to do, for tb- purpose ot an- 
nouncing to him our engagement. ( am so 
dreadfully ennuyee, that I am almost tempteo to 
ask my brave, indiscreet girl, to come and pay 
me a visit; at leant f certainly will not lecture her 
as before if she does, as u circumstances alter 
cases. 3 ' Thine, longiug to s e thee 

H. L. DANGERFIELD. 

Miss Hinton put this IP. tier pocket, and the 
carriage rolled on towards Oak Grove. Arrived 
at the fork in the road where the leit nand turn 
led to the " Soldier's Rest," Miss Hinton called 
to the driver, 

Uncle Kill ! Uncle Kill !" 

"Miss!" 

Turn down to the left ; I have a letter to 
take from Red-Stone Hall to the "Soldier's 
Rest " 

Eh ! what ! yes ! certainly, Miss > what was 
it you said ?" 



118 

Miss Hinton repeated her order. 

"Can't do it, Mis* " 

" What ? how dare you, sir, disobey my order ? 
Turn instantly to the left!" 

" Sorry I can't obligerate you, Miis Sina ; but 
ole marster's orders to fetch you straight home 
were very peremptolute " 

"See here, sir! you insolent fellow!" said 
Sina, burning with rage, "turn immediately 
whe : I tell you, or you shall meet with severe 
punishment." 

Taat m*y be a doubtingency, Miss Sina, if 
I don't ; whereas, if I does turn out with you, 
it'll be an absolutive certainty!" and so saying, 
the old negro put whip to his horses and drove 
furiously to *ards Oak Grove 

Arrived ther^ , Mis* Hinton went into the draw- 
ing room, and sent for Squire Darling. Squire 
-Darling * as having a conversation with old Kill. 
Poor old Kill f he thought by his literal obedience 
to orders to merit his master's approbation. So 
it -vas with visible delight that he related his 
little altercation with Miss Hinton, taking care 
to say, however, that he would very gladly have 
obliged Mus Hftnton, if he could have done so 
without disobeying his master. Our stout squire 
fell into a rage witi Sina, 'hat positively threat- 
ened to end in an apoplectic fit. But with his 
habitual care for Miss Hilton's standing in the 
household, be relieved himself, and deluded and 
alarmed poor old Kill, by bursting into a fit of 
violt- nt fury upon him demanding to know why 
he did not mind Miss Hinton ? His own com- 
mands were to be obeyed, it was true, always, 
excepting when Miss Hmton's wishes interfered ! 
He (old Kill) knew that! He ought to have his 
barf head broken ! It should be done the next 
time such a thing occurred ! Now we all know 
that, had poor old Kill committed the mistake of 
taking Sina to the Soldier's Rest, he would 
kave virtually signed his own passport to the 
cotton fields of Mississippi. And in fact the 
old man still suspected as much himself: how- 
ever, with a deprecating "reverence" he re- 
plied, that he was very sorry to have mistaken 
hi master's wishes ; that it was not yet too late 
to remedy the error ; that the horses were still 
quite fresh ; finally that he could then drive Miss 
Hin r n where she wished to go. 

" No SIR ! It is dinner time ! Miss Hinton is 
also very mncb fatigued ! I shall nor permit her 
to go over all that ground again! Begone !" 

It was at this moment that the message from 
Sina arrived, calling him into the drawing-room. 
He went in putting a violent restraint upon him- 
self, welcomed her home, and desired to be in- 
formed of her particular pleasure and purpose in 
ending tor him 

"Colonel Dangerfield is indisposed at the 
'Soldiers Rest.' I am the bearer of a letter 
from Red-Ston* Hall to him 1 wihed to take 
it there at once, but your man, Achilles, refused 



SHANNON DALE 



to drive me thither. Now I wish you to give 
orders that I may go." 

" Not for the world, my dear Miss. Hinton! 
you are mad ! A young lady visit an unmarried 
gentleman at his house ! Upon no account what- 
ever ! 1 will take the letter myself. Where is 
it, Sina?" 

Excuse me, sir, 1 must only deliver this let- 
ter with my own hand.' 

"Ah! who is it from, Sina? My sister? 
Imogene ?" 

"Squire Darling., it seems to me that you are 
cross- questioning me !' 

"Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!" laughed the squire. 
"No, my dear Sina! but in a word, I cannot 
send you to the < Soldier's Rest' to-day upon any 
pretence whatever! Let the Red-Stone Hall 
folks find their own messengers. Anything else, 
Miss Hinton, that I can do for your pleasure 
not that ! not that, my dear Carditis ! It is too 
much to ask of a man ! What, the d 1 ! are 
you so deeply disappointed at not seeing him at 
Chapel all day yesterday, that you must go and 
make him a visit to-day ?" 

Whether Sina flinton's guardian demon de- 
serted her that night or not, I do not know. 
Certain it is, however, that she was not one to 
brook control, or bear disappointment. The 
time was not ripe, openly to defy Squire Darling, 
if indeed defiance would have served her turn at 
all. Be that as it might have been, at eight 
o'clock, Miis Hinton bade good-night to Squire 
Darling, and retired to her own room not to 
stay, however ; very soon she cautiously emerged 
from the chamber, and creeping stealthily down 
stairs, saddled a horse with her own hands, and 
left the house as before, unconscious of a dark 
figure on horse-back perseveringly dogging her 
course. 

The same luxurious chamber, the same hand- 
some occupant awaited our little villain ; the 
only difference being that Colonel Dangerfield, in 
a gorgeous dressing- gown, reclined in a large, easy 
chair, covered with gold colored satin, with his 
wounded foot resting upon a cushion. 

"My dear, brave, imprudent girl! I knew 
you would come ! but why then not come in the 
day-time and with a proper escort ?" 

Sina explained, with luxuriant embellishments, 
the occurrences of the day. 

" My dear Sina ! to what a tyranny you are 
subjected. But take courage, Sina ! As soon 
as I can get a boot on this cursed I beg your 
pardon I meant to say this crippled foot, I shall 
go over to Oak Grove, and paying Squire Dar- 
ling the respect due him as your guardian, little 
as he deserves it, I shall ask leave to vi-it yon 
at his house, informing him of our engagement 
at the same time 1 do trust, my dear love, that 
1 shall be able to come over to-morrow " 



SHANN OND ALE. 



119 



Sina exerted all her powers of fascination that 
evening, and with unprecedented success ; never 
was a rational man more thoroughly bewildered, 
a Christian man more completely bedevilled than 
was Colonel Dangerfield when Sina lelt him that 
night. Look where he would, or shut his eyes 
if he pleased, the image of a fiery and intoxica- 
ting sprite in crimson satin, whose eyes were 
grappling hooks, whose ringlets were nets and 
meshes, caught and entangled him. 

In the meantime our little scamp pursued her 
way home, where a warm welcome was await- 
ing her, of which by the way she was quite un- 
conscious. 

Squire Darling paced up and down the long 
area of his librnry, cursing the lameness that 
still prevented his mounting a horse. Now 
he stood with his back to the glowing hickory 
fire ; now he walked to the window and looked 
out into the night ; now he pulled the bell rope 
violently, un il the whole house resounded, and 
the whole grove echoed, bringing in a servant. 

Has Achilles returned yet ?" 

No, sir." 

" Curse him, he is very slow ! Do you be on 
the watch for him, sir, and as soon as he comes, 
do you take charge of his horse yourself, and 
send him without the loss of a moment's time to 
me." 

" Yes, sir ; anything else marster ?" 

"No, go!" 

The man withdrew. 

"Sitan snatch the fellow! what keeps him so 
long nine yes, by JoVe, ten o'clock, and he 
not returned yet." 

He seized the bell rope and gave it another 
succession of violent jerks. The man immedi- 
ately re- entered. 

" More light here ! My candle is sinking in 
its socket." 

" Yes, sir ! Uncle Kill has come, sir ! I hear 
his horse's hoofs gallopping into the yard now." 

" Out of my sight then, in double quick time, 
and send him up here; let himbi ing the candles." 

" Yes, sir," and the man withdrew. 

In a very few minutes Uncle Kill entered the 
room bearing the lights. 

" Ah ! you have come ! Set them on the 
chimney-piece ! Now then you kept a watch 
over yotir young lady." 

Yes, sir." 

"You followed her at a respectful distance 
near enough to protect, yet not near enough to 
annoy her." 

"Yes, marster no, marster I means she 
never knowed nothin' 'bout my bein' on to her 
track!" 

Be careful of your phraseology, sir ! On her 
track ! On Miss Hinton's track what insolence 
is that?" 



" I beg your and Miss Hinton's pardon., sir ; 1 
meant to say how she never knowed as how she 
had a faithful sarvint behind her a keepin' of a 
watch over her for to keep off purl." 

Very well I but now then, it it be in you at 
all to give a consecutive narrative, do it." 
Sar !" 

"If you can tell a straight story, confound 
you ! tell it. Where and when did you first see 
Miss Hinton after she left the parlor ?" 
" Yes, sir ! at the ind door, sir !" 
" When what hour ?" 
" At half-past eight o'clock, sir !" 
I " Yes, by the devil's dam, whose daughter she 
is!" muttered the squire, between his teeth, 
< that was the hour she took leave of me for the 
night, saying that she had already kept me up 
beyond my time, which was true, and that she 
would then go to bed herself, which was false. 
Well, sir ! what then ?" 

" Y/ou, see, marster, how it wur very dark, 
and I was a-settin' underneath them there stone 
stairs as goes down from that there same ind 
.door, and every singly soul 'bout the plantation 
wur gone to bed, 'cept 'twur you, marster, and 
me, and one other person. Last I heerd the 
door over 'bove my head open, and creak, and 
shet, and a soft pit pat, like a little cat's steps 
a comin' down the stairs; then I peeped out 
from underneath my hidin' place, an' I cotch my 
eye on to Miss Sina least- wise, I mean- an' I 
swear to man, sar, it wur the Lord's blessed 
truffe I seed in the black dark and it. wur so 
thick, black dark, you might leant up aginst the 
darkness and gone to sleep the darkness walled 
you up all around ; 'deed it seemed lik* 3 it wur 
not possible to get through it without cutting 
your way through the solid darkness with a 
strong ax !" 

" The d 1, sir! go on witn your story !" 
" Yes, sar yes, marster ! well, in coorse, 1 
couldn't see Miss Sina, for there wa ? n ; t a singly 
star in the sky, but what I did see wur---ani it 
is the blessed Lord's holy truffe her two eyes, 
large and shinin' like two stars near the earth, 
and moving along in the solid darkness like wolf's 
eyes, and that was all I could see of her!" 

" Be careful, you black rascal ! mind yourself, 
sir, and know of whom you speak! R fleet, 
sir, that you were ordered to follow that eccen- 
tric young lady at a respectful distance for her 
protection," said the squire, almost vainly try- 
ing to reconcile his system of espionage with the 
idea of perfect confidence in, and respect for his 
charge, with which he wished to impress his 
household. " Go on, sir." 

" Well, marster. she, 1 mean the young lady, 
sir, Miss Sina Hinton passed on through the solid 
darkness without no light 'cept 'twur her bla- 
zing eyes! beg your pardon, sir, on to the stable, 
sir, where she leads out and saddles a erf etur 
that wur no less than Fleetwood, as she knowed 



120 



SH ANNOND ALE. 



wonned the goolden cup at the Battletown races 
last fall." 

Yes ! well ?" 

"She saddles of him quick as wink, jumps 
into the seat, and is off like a streak of lighte- 
nin'." 

Well ! well ! you followed her ?" 

" Yes, sur, yes, marster, but not on to the 
creetur I most in gineral rides, and that is what I 
wanted to 'xplain to you, sir, cause I never 
makes uie o' the bloods, sir, 'cept in a case of 
'cessity more especiallarly in the night season, 
ir, cause " 

Zounds, sir ! go on with the narrative with- 
out flying digressions upon horse-flesh." 

" Yes, sir. Yes, marster. She ivur progress- 
ing on a flyin' peece o' horse-flesh, and that was 
the reason why I knowed Chally could never 
overtake that there cause you see, marster, as I 
often 'xplained afore, sir, that time Marse Ed- 
gar and M^s Winny " 

Set fire to ' Marse Edgar and Miss Winny, 9 
where the jack-o'-lantern are you wandering 

DOW?" 

" YPS, sir ! yes ! I was jes gwine to 'xplarn 
how it wur all along o j Chally." 

D n C bally I 

" Yes sir ! I say so too, axing your pardon, 
'ca'se ef it hadn't o' been for he " 

"Thunder and lightning! what is all this 
about Charlie to do with it? Where did Miss 
Hinton go ?" 

Yes, sur ! She goed straight through the 
forest road towards Soldier's Res', sir !" 

And then" 

Then I saddled Lightfoot, sir, though he wur 
one o' the best bloods, 'ca'se if I had rid Chal- 
ly-" 

"Zounds and the d 1! if you say Chally 
again I'll be the death of you. Come ! what 
next?" 

1 gallopped arter her, sir, hard as I could till 
she must o' heern me." 

"Blockhead!" 

" No I wur not, sir ! cause when I heern her 
stop to listen, I stops and turns softly side o' the 
road and goes into the woods, till 1 heern her 
go on again. Then 1 thought as there wur no 
turuin' for half a mile, may be I had better 'pend 
on to the d<uk aV ride swift past of her an' wait 
fur her at the fork, an j so I did, sir, and she 
stopped when she heern my creeter comin' and 
stood still Rome where in the dark some 'ere 
'side o' the road, tell I gallopped past. I got to 
the fork and waited under the trees till 1 heerd 
her come sweeping past like a gale o' wind up 
the right hen' road, an' then 1 knowed how she 
wur goin' to the Soldier Res' for true, an' no 
whar else so I followed after her soft and swift, 
an' kep nigh to her, too, 'ca'se I wur on Light- 
foot wr>ere as ef I had o' rid my ole creetur 
Chally" 



"Fire and blood! if you go off on Chally 
again I'll split you down." 

I didn't, sir ! 1 didn't ! 'deed I didn'-t go off 
on Chally as I wur about to 'xplain, 'deed he 
ain't fit for to be rid no longer. 1 goed off on 
Lightfoot as I said, sir, 'ca'se I had had 'nough 
'perience o' Chally." 

" Humph, Achilles, you know what I em when 
I turn pale, and what I mean when I speak low. 
Now, mark me, tell me about Miss Hinton with- 
out once diverging from the straight line of the 
story without once again naming Lightfoot, 
Fleetwood, Charlie or any of your four-footed 
friends and acquaintances. Now, then, go on." 

" Yes, sir ! well, sir ! I keeps a hind o' her all 
the way tell we comes to the glen then I takes 
a short cut through the glen and brings up under- 
neath the poplar trees as circles round three 
sides o' the lawn. I ties my creetur in a hidy 
place and runs 'long under the fence till I gets 
roun' to the back o' the house. The back gate 
wur open an' I slips in, and goes whar I sees a 
light a glimmerin' through the 'netian blinds o' 
a great big ind window, as I arterwards found 
out wur Colonel Dangerfield's own room. So I 
hides myself under 'neath of the vines o' the 
portico. All wur dark ; all wur still. Presen'ly 
I hear a hoss step soff and muffly like. Then I 
hear somebody drap soff off the hoss, and come 
light as a cat mos' to the groun' j nex' I sees 
two shinin' eyes comin' through the dark ; then 
the door 'long side o' me opens an' a blaze o' 
light pours out jes as Miss Sina flits in, an' the 
door shets agin. Then I goes 'roun' and up the 
steps an' peeps through the key hole, hut the 
shiel' wur down so I couldn't see notbin' 'tall ; 
then I tries peep through the window shuttero, 
but I couldn't see a singly thing." 

"Who the d 1, sir, authorized you to look 
through the key holes and window shutters ?" 
angrily exclaimed the squire, though it is to be 
presumed that if old Kill had made any disco- 
veries, the squire would not have been averse to 
hearing them and profitting by his servant's 
eavesdropping. As it turned out a fruitless 
peeping, however, our squire could afford to in- 
dulge in a fit of virtuous indignation without loss. 

" 'Deed, sir, I thought," commenced old Kill, 
excusing himself. 

"Oh! the fiend! what business had you to 
think? Well! and then?" 

" Then, sir, I corned away, an' leff her there, 
'ca'se I thought how Colonel Dangerfield would 
be sartain sure for to see her safe at home." 

" Let us see what time was that ?" 

" Nigh as 1 could guess, sir, 1 think how it 
wur about nine o'clock. It tuk me jes about 
half a nour to go, and half a nour to come only 
jes that much, 'ca'se you see, sar, 'fore wit is 
better nor after wit,' and I had the fore wit 
'stead o' ridin' o' ole Chally I rid Lightfoot, 
'ca'se you see, sar, I knows ole Chally 's deblish 






SHANNONDALE. 



121 



ways o* ole 'ca'se you see, sar, it wur nil along 
o' oie Chally " 

That you are kicked down stairs, you infer- 
nal old villain! 7 ' vociferated the furious squire, 
suiting the action to the word, and then throw- 
ing himself into a chair, while a deadened rum- 
ble-bumblfi-tumble was heard going slowly and 
safely down the carpetted stairs. Up jumped 
the squire with a sudden impulse, and going to 
the door, sang out, 

" You, sir ! pick yourself up and return here 
immediately ! J> 

Yes, sir !" said the old man, making his ap- 
pear nee. 

" Look you here, sir ! I was only trying you. 
Jsent. Miss Hinton on that expedition. A secret 
and confidential treaty with Colonel Dangerfield, 
which, as he is laid up in lavender with his 
sprain, and I am on the shelf with my remain- 
ing lameness Miss Hinted as the person most 
in the confidence of both had to execute !" 

Jes so, sir." 

There then ! Now never let me hear of this 
night ride again fiom you or from, anybody else, 
for if you do ! You know me." 

Jes so, sir," and glad to get off, old Kill pre- 
cipitately retreated. 

After he had left the room the jealous and en- 
raged man walked several times up and down 
communing with himself as follows : 

"Now shall I call her here when she. returns, 
or shall I wait till to-morrow morning ? Nay, 
to-night I It shall be to-night ! I will go and 
lie in wait to catch her in her hasty and guilty 
return in her fright, her tremor. Then I will 
accuse her ! overwhelm her with mortification ! 
and then why then, perhaps, because I know 
with all her flagrant coquetry, she is too cold 
and cunning not to be pure why then I will for- 
give her ! for by Beelzebub, bad as she is, I can- 
not, will not resign her! Yes! I will forgive 
her, and if she has a heart lurking anywhere in 
her cold bosom, she must melt at that f I mean 
I will forgive her on certain conditions ; name- 
ly, that she marries me forthwith and then and 
tnen and then let me catch your eyes or heart 
wandering, my lady, that's all I" 

Full of these contending passions and purposes 
(he was talking in one breath of forgiveness 
and revenge) he hastened out of the room, 
went down the passage and paused before Sina's 
bed-room at the opposite extremity. He turned 
his back, folded his arms and leaned against it. 
He might have been there perhaps twenty mi- 
nutes, when a side door, about half way the 
length of the passage, and leading down a flight 
of back stairs, opened cautiously, closed slowly 
and softly, and a light, stealthy cat-like step, 
only to be heard in the dead silence, came pit- 
patting up the passage. It was pitch dark. The 
squire held out his arms. The light step fled on 



the light form was caught in the arms to * ne 
bosom, of the stout squire. A. slight start but 
no scream ! not even an exclamation ! only a.low, 
determined, husky, 

" Who are you, spy ?" from the bad but brave 
girl, 

" Your humble servant, Miss Sina Hinton, and 
the poor master of the house !" 

"Squire Darling!" 

" At your commands, Miss Hinton !" 

Squire Darling .'" 

" Your most humble and obedient, Miss Hin- 
ton!" 

"SQUIRE DARLING!" 

Will you have ocular proof, Miss Hinton ?" 

Do I dream, sir ?" 

"Yes! very fallacious waking dreams." 

" At my chamber door at this hour, sir, you!" 

et Even so, Miss Hinton, at this hour of the 
night, half-past ten o'clock !" replied the squire, 
ironically. 

" And what may be your business here, may 
1 inquire, sir ?" demanded Sina, haughtily. 
. To welcome Miss Hinton home from her 
midnight ride !" 

" What mean you, sir ?" 

"That you are discovered, Miss Hinton 1 
Come, Sina! accompany me to my room to 
some place where I can take a look at you !" 
and drawing her arm within his own, he forcibly 
led her down the whole length of the passage 
and into the library. Then closing the door, he 
locked it and put the key in his pocket. Then 
taking the lighted candle from tse candle-stick, 
he flashed it towards Sina, saying, insultingly, 

"Come! let's see you!" 

Miss Hinton sprang sharply around and con- 
fronted, defying him. 

" By heaven, Sina ! you ride out at midnight 
to catch beauty from the star-light ! This mo- 
ment you look as fierce, sleek, and beautiful as a 
young tigress !" He flashed the candle over her 
and gazed at her with admiration as well he 
might. Hers was the beauty of the tiger ; the 
beauty of the serpent ; the beauty of fire ; bright, 
ardent, fierce. 

There she stood ! her slight and elegant figure, 
clad in the tightly fitting, crimson satin, her 
small and graceful head adorned by a little black 
velvet riding cap, from which long black plumes 
tipped with crimson, mingled flame-like with the 
splendid fall of glossy black ringlets thrown out 
into glittering relief by the crimson boddice. 
There she stood ! one hand resting upon the 
back of a chair, the other carelessly twining 
among her rich ringlets, her thin cheeks burn- 
ing with excitement, her splendid eyes flashing 
with defiance her whole darkling, elfin face, 
keen, bright, fierce and threatening as a drawn 
stiletto ! And there for an instant he stood, look- 
ng at her intently, until he began to tremble. 
then he returned the candle to the candle-sticfr 



122 

OL ' ;e mantle-piece, and went and drank a deep 
draught oi ice water to cool his fever and settle 
his .nerves Miss Hinton observed the action 
and smiled with scornful triumph. 

" Well! 1 told you, Sina, that you are dis- 
covered I" 

To be what ?" demanded Miss Hinton, 
deliberately. 

" Ho v cool you are to be sure !" 

" Yes, though 1 have not quaffed a quart of 
ice water !" 

"Do you understand that you are found 
out?" 

" To be what? as I asked before!" 

You have been cvatched traced to the Sol- 
dier's Rest seen to enter the bachelor apart- 
ments of Colonel Dangei field's house. Come, ex- 
plain tnat, madam, if you please!" 

" Certainly ; though I might assuredly ques- 
tion your right of inquiry." 

Well j Come ! the explanation ! Let's near 
your fine trumped up story ! I warrant you 
have one that would bam-boozle a Yankee law- 
yer! Come, 1 wait!" 

"Keep cool don't be in a hurry!" 

<> Ho ho ho! the duplicity of the woman; 
you want a minute to invent a story. Come ! no 
delay, now!" 

Oh! no hurry. Life is long; a young man 
like you, has quite a future before him !" 

Good ! you try to inflame my anger ! I I 
will keep my temper !" 

Will you take a glass of ice-water to help 
you rto it?" 

"Go to the deuce, ma'am, or explain your 
pretty piece of folly, if you expect to continue 
under my own and my sister's protection I" 

Good ! My pretty piece of folly ? Let's see 
which pretty piece was it? I have forgotten 
I have so many ; one of the pretty pieces of 
folly, is the act of standing here listening to 
you!" 

" You have no choice, my caged jay ! You 
were seen !" 

"Yes, sir!" 

" To leave- this house " 

Yes, sir !" 

At nine o'clock at night I 

"Yes, sir!" 

" You were traced " 

" Yes. sir !" 

To Soldier's Rest ! 

Yes, sir !" 

Aye, mock me ' You were seen to enter " 

ft Yes, air!" 

"Colonel Dangerneld's bachelor apartments!* 

YES, SIR ! !" 

"Explain that!" 

"Yes, air I entered Colonel Dangerfield'* 
bachelor apartments because " 

" Well ! because'? 



SHANNON DALE. 



I 
> 



" Because his matrimonial apartments are not 
y*M open!" 

The blood runhed to Squire Darling's head 
hi* throat swelled his race turned black the 
veins started like cords he trembled all over 
he staggered, sank into a chair; the perspira- 
tion started, streamed from his face this saved 
Squire Darling from a stroke of apoplexy, I do 
believe. He tremblingly drew a handker thief 
from his pocket, wiped his eyes again and again 
heaved a profound sigh drew a deep breath, 
and recovered himself. 

Sina was burning, blazing, sparkling, scintil- ' 
lating mirth, scorn and defiance, in every glow 
of her crimson-draped figure, and every flash 
her fierce and elfin features. 

" Au audacious! un unblushing girl!" gt 
ed the nearly suffocated squire. 

Why should I blush ?" 

She she glories'in her shame !" 

In my innocence, and the perfect safety 
my position, sir!" 

"The perfect safety of your position, 
shameless oh ! my Lord ! I do not wish to for 
get that she is a woman !" 

"Ah, ha! now we are going to have it 
hearsed another comedy of jealousy !" 

"Jealousy! not so, my dear girl! Do not 
flatter yourself that I shall amuse you with any 
such food for satire, this evening useless as ab- 
surd ! No, Sina- but you need to be looked after 
and takep care of." 

"Possibly you would recommend a strait 
jacket, sir!" 

" Possibly I might, Miss Hinton at all ev 
you need to be controlled ; and I must have 
better right than now I have, to control y< 
And now, this^ night, Sina, and before you lea\ 
this room, we must come to a down right unde 
standing." 

Her tone changed. She left off her flippant 
half-scornful manner of replying, and seat 
herself composedly, she Raid, 

f eB it is as well that before I leave tl 
room, we do come to a distinct and final und( 
standing; pray proceed, sir." 

" Then, Miss Hinton, are you ready to 
me your hand to-morrow ?" 

"No, sir!" 

"When then?" 

" Never, sir !" 

"Never!" 
< Most assuredly, never /" 

"Ha! we'll see! pray why?" 

" Because, sir, I have promised the said sail 
little digit to Colonel Dangerfield !" 

"The d 1! no! that can't be! 1 swear it 
is a falsehood ! I beg your pardon I mean 
mistake !" 

Colonel Dangerfield will call on you to-moi 
row, air, in your capacity of my sort-of-guar- 
dian !" 



S H A NNOND ALE. 



123 



"It's not so! what! Dang er field ! he! so 
haughty!" 

Exactly, sir ! so haughty, that he defies tie 
commentaries of his neighbors, and dares to 
please himself in the choice of a wife, even when 
that choice rests on a penniless girl like me I" 

Here's a deil of a fuss ! Onl it's all an 
imposition! It can't be so! What * more, it 
shan't be so! by heaven shan't it ! What! Dan- 
gerfield ! he is betrothed to Imogene !" 

" She has discarded him, sir, or set him tree, 
which amounts to the same thing !" 

" The d J ! 1 knew you were trying to en- 
trap him. I knew you were flirting desperately 
with him but 1 knew that you were too selfish, 
cold and fierce, to come to any harm ; and f 
never ireamed t-hat he would wish to marry 
you?" 

"Thank you, sir!" 

* Sina ! he shall not have you ! By the blood 
of Beelzebub ! he shall not have you to save his, 
to save your own life !'' 

Miss Hinton smiled contemptuously 

And what is more, I will have you myself! 
I've used persuasion, entreaty, long enough ; 
now I'll try something else for, though all the 
power of heaven, and the ingenuity of earth, and 
the malignity of hell, were leagued to prevent 
it, I will have you!" 

Miss Hinton laughed scornfully. 

" Why don't you answer me ; grrl ?" 

" Because you raveand it is folly to reply to 
raving- How on earth, I should be glad to know, 
are you to prevent my marrvin? whom i 
please ?" 

How ? I'll go to him, and say that I have 
been this girl's lover for two years during the 
whole of which time she has lived with me I" 

Miss Hinton raised her splendid eyes, blazing 
with defiance, to his. 

"And if you do, sirl you will but endorse 
what I have told him myself! You will but give 
him a new motive for hastening our marriage, 
that I may be the more speedily released from 
this persecution !' 

" By heaven, then ! he shall not have you ! 
What ! you tbat I have had in my sight for two 
years you that I have been habituated to be- 
lieve my own you that I have adored when 
I have looked forward even to long future 
years " 

Of gout and plethora, and being nursed an 
enchanting piospect for me, sir! I always looked 
upon you as a father, Squire Darling ; and as a 
daughter, I would even nurse you in your old 
age and infirmities !" 

" Confound daughters ! old age ! infirmity ! in- 
deed ; that is insulting ! By heaven, Misn Hin- 
ton, you need not think of marrying that r-ureed 
whiskered fellow ! He shall not have you to 
gave his life, or your own. If the worst comes 



to rhe worst, I will go to him, and will say that 
which you may very readily guess, Miss Hinton 
and which will prevent his marrying you ." 

Now Sina turned deadly pale with fear and 
rage. Her very lios were white, and trembling 
a> she said 

"You! a Virginian gentleman! a Darling! 
No ! you will never do that !" 

" Will I not ? Miss Hinton, I am the only one 
you can, in any sort of honor, marry. I love 
you wish to marry you will settle a fortune 
on you will place you at once at th^ head of 
society in this neighborhood ; but, Sina, if you 
persist in this fancy for my rival so help me 
heaven, I will go to Colonel Dangerfield, and 
whisper that in his ear which shall lead him to 
break with you!" 

- You will not ! no, you will not do that," 
frantically exclaimed Sina. 

" Look in my face and see if I will not !" 

< Do IT, SIR, THEN !" at last, in fury, broke 
out Sina. Do it ! but do not hope that that 
perfidy will serve you ! For, look you ! 1 am a 
fiend incarnate ! My mother's matchless wrongs ! 
my own ! have made me so I The only human 
feeling I have, is an affection for Dangerfield 
an affection that shall not be wounded! shall 
not. under any contingency, while he only loves 
me! For, oh! listenma.nl that stan^eth there 
talking of some weak counterfeit that thou eall'st 
love ! and mixing it up with carriages and 
horses, and houses, and marriage settlements! 
Listen! I love Dangerfield he loves me I and 
neither your perfidy, his pride, nor my own soul's 
salvation, shall separate us ! No ! no ! no ! I 
will follow him ! live with him ! live for him ! I 
had rather be Dangerfield's tervant, his dog, than 
your wife, with all the emolument* of that honor- 
able office ! and feeling, as I do, there were 
less shame in it !" Her face worked, nay con- 
vulsed with the warring passions of anguish, 
despair, and rage ! Strange, but the storm, the 
tornado raging in her bosom, attracted him 
powerfully ; he had been very pale now his face 
flushed deeply; he stretched out his hand, caught 
her strained her, struggling, to his bosom 
cleared her ringlets from her agonized face, and 
half suffocated her with kisses, exclaiming be- 
tween them, 

" And I will tell him that thus \ have had her 
in my arms thus I have strained hei to my 
bosom !' 

4 < Hold /" said Sina, in a low, deep, stern, con- 
centrated tone of rage. " You hug your death 
be warn.ed ! release me , or I will KI.LL YOU !" 

" I lose my time," sneered he, resuming his 
caresses and saying between tbem, Ah! lit- 
tle kittens snarl and spit, but seldom bite like 
nob'er animal^!" 
I will kill you!' 
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho ! so you threatened once 



124 



SH \NNONDALE 



before! lam not scared! Oh! I'll tell him! 
Oa! I'll tell him! that thus! and thus! and 
thus ! 1 have suffocated her with kisses a hun- 
dred times!" 

44 And that THUS she finally punished with 
DEATH, a violence she could not prevent!" said 
Sina, swiftly snatching a short dagger from her 
boFom, and driving it to the hilt in his chest. 

Suddenly, with a sharp cry, he bounded up, 
dropped her, pulled the blade from his bosom 
and cast it down, exclaiming. " Serpent ! so you 
"really have fangs then !" A dark stream of blood 
trickled from the wound j he tried to stanch it 
with his handkerchief. She had started to her 
feet, and stood pale and rigid. They looked at 
each other. 

On the carpet between them, glittering and 
flashing in the fire-light, lay the tiny jewelled 
poignard, the blade wet with blood. 

" Aye, sir, look at me ! / have no fear of 
blood ! no dislike to shed it ! I do not mind tak- 
ing life ! do not fear to lose my own ! Send now 
and denounce me!" 

" Unhappy girl; I have no intention to de- 
nounce you !" 

Say tbat a youthful girl an orphan child, was 
cast, helpless, upon your protection. Say that 
she confined in your honor; say that you perse- 
cuted her with an odious suit, which, when she 
rejected, you punished her with loathsome ca- 
resses which she had no strength to prevent i 
Say that when she would have avenged herself, 
her heart was brave ! her eye steady ! her han* f 
firm ! and her steel sharp ! and she drew some 
baci blood ! Though thanks to six inches of fat 
you are not mortally wounded after all !" She 
finished with a wild and bitter laugh, and was 
turning to leave the room, when he faintly re- 
called her, saying feebly, 

" Sina, Sina ! 1 iorgive you ; but but for 
heaven's sake, a surgeon I die,'* and fainted. 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

THE ARREST. 

Loa. He ! He never did it sir i I swear to Heaven 
he never did it ! 

Officer, Some one did! And when one man s mur 
dered, it stands to reason another must 
be hanged. Haimonde 

But this is horrible ! Good Heaven f * My 
brother assassinated ! His most faithful servant 
Achillas arrested for the murder. In the name 
of Heaven, woman, stop your raving, and give 
me a more intelligible account of what has hap- 
pened ! Harriette Joy, my dear, go and order 
the horses to be put to the carriage immediate- 
ly. Lock Mrs Ardenne's door on the outside, 
and take away the key, so that no indiscreet 
gervant raay overwhelm her or my mother with 



this news. Go at once, my dear ; and now, Mi- 
nerva, tell me, how did this occur ?" inquired 
Mrs. Summerfield, as, pale with horror, sbe Heard 
the news of her brother's state from old Nerve, 
early on the morning succeeding the scene at 
Oak Grove, described in the last chapter. 

"Oh! Miss Mar'get! Oh I chile! Oh! my 
blessed Heavenly Marster!" sobbed the poor 
old woman, wringing her hands and writhing her 
body, as though in acute bodily pain, and about 
to roll on the carpet. 

" Imogene, my love, go and get her a glass of 
brandy." 

" Oh, no ! no ! no ! no brandy ! no brajndy ! 
it wur all along o' that 'fernal truck that my 
poor, dear ole man, the 'fernal fool ! let Sam get 
'head o' him so far as to lif his han' 'gin bis own 
begotten marster ! 'deed it wur, honey ! 'deed it 
wur, chile! Take the darned etarnal devil's 
blood out'n my sight ! Oh? my blessed, patient, 
heavenly, loving, long-sufferin' 'Vine Mwster ! 
have marsy on top o' a poor ole sinnin' nigger 
'oman, as has live' t'rough all the sorrows o' 
this sorrowful worl' to the age of sixty-five years 
old for to fee her dear, dear darliu' ole 'panion 
heave his senses away, an' turn a darned etarnal 
fool in his ole days, an' lif his han' ag'in' his 
own lawful marster! Oh, Lord! Oh, massy I 
does hanging hurt much?- 'cause I gwine be 
hung in his place ! 'deed I am, Miss Mar'get ! 
'fore my blessed, Heavenly 'Deemer I an 
honey! 'cause I'm his own lawful wile, an' 
two been together fifty years come nex' Chrii 
mas Eve at night, eence we firs' took up 'loi 
o' one another ! 'deed it is, chilf ! an' Pve 
a lawful right to wide (divide) all his troubles 
'fore my lovin' Lod I have, chile ! an' so long 
Sam did get 'head o' him poor, dear ole hear 
the darned, etarnal ole fol! I means to b 
hung! 'deed I do, honey; 'cause you see, honey, 
it's perdination 'nough to go an' lif his ondutifv 
ole han' 'gin his own lawfully begotten marster, 
'out anything else. Oh, Miss Mar'get, honey, 
try to 'fiuade the poor, fbrsok ole siriner to 'fess 
an' save his poor mortal soul ! Sam does 'cei 
the poor ole soul so, an' makes him so blin' 
his own poor dear soul's mortal good, as to make 
him 'ny all about it ! Oh ! Miss Mar'get, honey, 
it's downright awful to one as loves him like 
does, to stan' by an' hear that poor ole 
creetur set an' swear till his throat swells up 
to choke him, as he never did do it, an' nev< 
would do it, evuen in 'fence o' his own life ! 'r 
'an even he'd go an' 'bel against his Lod ! when 
we all know how he did do it !" 

" Good Heaven ! can we get nothing more 
satisfactory from you than this ? Imogene, love, 
give her some ether, she is hysterical." 

And so she wan, poor old soul, sobbing, gasp- 
ing, wringing her hands, and swaying her body 
to and fro. Miss Summerfield, full of pity, 
brought her some ether in a glass, and forced her 



SHANNOND ALE. 



to swallow it. This settled her nerves, and com- 
posed her mind, so that she drew a long breath, 
and remained silent. Mrs. and Miss Summer- 
field gravely awaited her word so gravely, that 
the poor woman, looking at them, said 

You a n't mad 'long o> me, are you, Miss 
Mar'get ? are you Miss 'Genie ? 'cause you 
see, children, I nussed you both mother an' 
chile Miss Mar get wur the first chile as ever 
I cussed, forty years ago come this nex' Au- 
gust ; an' I missed you, Miss 'Genie, nineteen 
years ago come this nex' May ; an' I nussed 
Misp Wtnny seventeen years ago come this nex' 
nex' April, Meed I did, child'un! 'deed I 
didn'i kno v the diff'ence, an' ef you on'y leave 
me take Miss Winny's little wee puny baby 
home 'long o' me to the quarters, an' put little 
piece o' clear fat bacon in its little fis' to suck, 
you soon see diff'unce. It git fat, and grow like 
sin. 'deed it would, Miss Mar'get. 'Fore my 
Blessed Judge it would, Miss 'Genie." 

" Imogene, my child, go and hurry them with 
the carriage, and send some one with my bonnet 
ami shawl. I mnst hasten to Oak Grove, for it 
is clear that we shall get nothing out of her." 

" You ain't mad 'long o' me, child'un, are you 
'cause ef Sam got 'head o' poor ole man Kill 
(there, I might o' known that orifort'nate name 
wan't going to turn out to no good !) it wan't 
my fault, but my sorrow enough! You ain't 
mad 'long o' me, child'un, are you ?" 

This was said in a low. slow tone, of such pi- 
teous deprecation, that Mrs. Summerfield an- 
swered gently 

Oh, no we are not angry with you how 
should we be ? We feel very sorry for you 
only we would like you to tell us as we go along, 
what really has happened." 

The carriage is ready, madame," said a ser- 
vant, entering at the same moment that Mrs. 
Summerfield's maid appeared with her cloak and 
bonnet. 

"Come, Minerva! you must return in the 
carriage with me." 

Oh, no, ma'am, Miss Mar'get, 'deed you 
mus' 'xcuse me. I gwine down the jail-house, 
to 'suade ole man Kill to 'fess, an' then to bail 
him out!" 

Bail him out !" 

Yes, honey, yes, chile, yes, Miss Mar'- 
get. I know how I ain't got no money, but I 
thank my Heavenly Jesus, I got what's o' more 
valuation to me than goole I got my poor ole 
black body, an' I'll go bail long o' that 1 go 
tell 'em for to let poor ole man .Kill go an' put 
me in his place 'cause you know, Miss Mar'- 
get, its bad 'nough to have the sorrow o' sin, n 
his poor ole sick min', 'out bein' 'fined irr jail, 
'sides which, you see, Miss Mar'get, he's not 
been usen to bein' 'fined to one spot. He's been 
usen jto bein' on ole C bally 's back, from airly in 
the mornin' till late at night, ridin' from fiel' to 
11* 



125 

fiel', look in' arter the niggers don't look so 
sorry, Miss 'Genie, honey 'twon't go so hard 
'long o' me to take his place in jail, 'cause, you 
see, I've been usen to a sitting-tary life, which 
'ould go hard long o' him, as has allus been 
a-horse-back from 'fore the rising o' the sun, 
to the goin' down o' the same,' as the Ten 
Commandment!* says." 

Mrs. Summerfield explained while she array- 
ed herself in her bonnet and shawl that it was 
impossible for Nerve to bail her husband out of 
jail in the way proposed. Poor old Nerve open- 
ed wide her eyes at this, and replied with more 
indignation than we have ever seen her dis- 
play 

Not ! not let me pawn myself for my ole 
man ! Well ! I mus' say, as I never murmurs 
at anything my blessed Lord in heaven, or my 
pastors an' marsters on the- yeth thinks proper 
for to do but I mus' say ! that that's very hard, 
and very 'rannical, very! when they let a rich 
person bail their frien' out'n jail with money 
t&ey won't let a poor person bail theirn out 
with all they got their poor ole body!" and 
dropping down at the front door, which they 
had all now reached, the old woman rolled on 
the marble pavement, giving herself up to sob- 
bing and groaning. 

Mrs. Summerfield stooped down and said, 
gently 

"Nerve, do not cry. I will bail Achilles 
out if it be possible- Don't cry. Get up, and 
come with me." 

Her kind words, and a glass or two of water, 
helped the poor old creature upon her feet, and 
she entered the carriage with Mrs. Summerfield. 

" Take care of your cousin, Imogene, If ne- 
cessary, 1 will send the carriage back for both 
of you, and in that case, you will know how to 
bring her without alarming her " 

It was not until they had ridden some way, 
that Mrs. Summerfield could draw from Nerve 
anything like a connected statement of what had 
befallen. At last, however, she said 

"Why, you see, Miss Mar'get, honey, las' 
night, 'bout nine o'clock, poor ole man Kill, the 
cussed infunnelly ole fool ! 'stead o' 'tirin' to his 
hones' bed like a Christian ole nigger as has sot 
out to sarve his Jesus ought to do, he gits up 
from 'long side o' the fire where I was a-toas'in' 
o' my poor ole feet goes to the cupboard and 
takes a big pull at the whiskey jug 'deed he 
did, honey ! and he draws on his great coat. 
< Kill ! where you goin' this time o' night ?' I 
say, 'deed I did, chile! 1 ax him where 
he gwine, and he, 'stead o' satisfyifi' o' his law- 
ful 'panion, buttons up his coat, up to his chin, 
an' lookin' mighty stiff an' pompous, says, < he 
wur goin' out on secret confotential business !' 
'Fore my blessed Lord he did, honey f the firs' 
time as ever my ole man give me shortness ! So 
1 was hurted to the heart, an' I knew how it wur 



SH ANNO NDALE. 



126 

- e o' Sam's doin'a, else he'd o' told me, his 
lawful wife So I tried to 'suade him, an' he 
said <wi^min oughten to know everything,' 
'deed he did, Miss Mar'get ! Sam had got the 
poor profane ole forsok sinner BO in his power as 
to make him say to his own lawful wife <wim- 
min oughten to know everything !' " 

Go on." 

" Well, you see, Miss Mar'get, he goed off, 
'out another word, an' I goes to bed, but 1 didn't 
sleep, though I wur fur 'nough from guessin' 
how bad it wur a-goin' fur to turn out ! So I 
laid, an' I tossed, an' I tumbled, an' I heard the 
clock strike ten 'leven twelve ! then sure as 
I'm a livin' sinner, Miss Mar'get, at that lone- 
some, wicked hour o' midnight, all of a suddint, 
I hears ole marster's bell ring ' Ting-a-ling 
a-ling a-ling a ling-tmg-ting ! tang a-lang 
a-lang, a lang a-lang TANG TANG!! as if 
the whole blue chiny ruff of the sky had fell 
down smash! an' then it stopped, all on a sud- 
dint ! an' then I jumped out o' bed, an' bawled 
on my clothes, an' runned to the house, fas' as 
ever my poor ole legs could tote me ! an' when \ 
I got there, I foun' the kousekeeper runnin', an' 
the house-servants all runnin', an' we runned all 
towards ole marster's door, an' tried to open it, 
an' it wur locked, an' we listened, an' all wur 
still as death in there, an' then we rapped, an' 
the awfullest groans answered o' us, an' short, 
quick screams, an' then we bu'sted of the door 
open, an' as we did, somethin' rushed out past of 
us, an' ve couldn't see what it was in the dark, 
an' bless the Lord, when we went in it was 
pitch dark a'mos', 'cept the murky fire-light, an' 
by it we saw ole marster, a-layin' with the side 
o' his head across o' the andiron, which wur 
knocked over, an' down underneath of him, jes 
as if he had fell an' struck it ! an' we see the 
candlestick on to the floor, an' the candle out, 
jes as if some on' had hev it down o' purpose 
an' we see a little, bright, shining' little p'mard, 
a-fihlnin an' a-flashin' on the rug, jes like a little 
live wiper snake ! Well, we lighted of the can- 
dle, an' we lifted ole marster up, an' underneath 
of him wur a little puddle o' blood!" 

Good Heaven !" 

True as I 'm tellin' of you Mis* Mar'get, 
honey ! 'sides which there was a 'tusion on the 
lef ' side o' his head where he mus' o' struck 
the ban' iron as he fell !" 

5 Good Heaven!" again exclaimed the pale 
and horrified lady. 

" Yes, honey ! yes ! an' now comes the wuas 
o ' it while some of us wur a tryin ' to bring 
too old marster the housekeeper an' some o' 
the men servant* went a Rearchin' o' the room, 
an' oh! my 'Vine Marker f oh! my heavenly 
'De^mpr! oh! my massiful Father! as ever I 
should live to see it as *vp r I should live <x> tell 
it! o-< 1 oh! oh t .'>;!" sobbed and groaned the 



old woman, rocking herself to and fro and wring- 
ing her hands. 

Mrs Summertield controlled her intense anxi- 
ety, and waited with apparent patience till the 
old woman should proceed which she soon did 
in the following strain of bitter lamentation. 

" Oh ! my lovur Lord ! as I should a* live to 
see an' to tell it ! -there they loun' that poor 
ole missfortunate chile, ole Kill, a-hidm' a hind a 
windy curtain an' froze stiff, an' striked oumb 
'long o' scare! an' they pulled him out right 
afore my face, an' his eyes wur a- star tin' an' 
his teeth wur a chatter in' an' his knees wur 
a-knockin' agin each other, an' the poor ole 
fool coulden' give a single bit o' 'count o* 
himself! 'deed he couldn't! an' the house- 
keeper, she sent off two men, one arter a stur- 
geon, an' tother arter Colonel DangerfieP, he 
bem' the nighest neigbor 'sides bein' a magis- 
ter. All this time, two or three o' us had laid 
ole marster down on a sofy, an' wur tryin' to 
bring him to life ! one o' the men wanted to 
bleed him with a pen knife but 1 told him how 
I thought he'd los' blood 'nough 'ready, an' 
another wanted to pour whiskey down his t roat, 
but I telled him ef he did'n' take the cussed in- 
funnelly stuff out 'n my sight, how 1 'd heave it 
out'n the windy, an' so I would 'n let them try 
no sperirnents till the sturgeon come " 

*< But Miss Hinton ? Where was Miss Hint 
all this time?" 

" Yes ! bless the Lord ! well you may ask 
Miss Marg'et ! Soon as ever the house keeper 
had 'spatched the two men an' had my poor 
ole sinful, sufferin' angel tied ban' an' foor an' 
lain on the floor oh, Lord ! oh, dear ! oh, Lord ! 
oh, dear ! better I had never lived to see such a 
sight!" cried the poor old soul again, loosing all 
self control in her anguish. 

" But, Miss Hinton ?" 

"Yes, honey ! yes, chile! Yes, Miss Mar'get, 
I gwine tell you, oh, Lord! Well soon as she 
had time fur to look about her, the house keeper 
sent one o' the galls for to wake up Miss Sina, 
an' presen'ly the gall ran schreechm' back in 
to the room, white as a ghos' an' shakio' like 
a nager, an ' putten another srare on we-dem, 
for we thought Miss Sina mus ' be wilterin ' in 
her blood too, but mos ' ' fore we could think 
that, as the nigger gall corned runnio' in 
screechin' an' screamin' in rushed Miss Si 
herself like a 'stroyin' flame o' fire her eyes 
sparklin', her arms flyin' over her head, her hair 
streamin' behind an' scarce no clothes on her 
back ravin' 'stracted MAD ! an' shriekin', I killed 
him! lie deserved it! I'-i do it again." 

Merciful Heaven!" 

"True as I'm tellin' of you Miss Mar'get it 
wur another one then we had to throw down by 
main force and bind all the time she 
s reamin' an strugglin' her eyes flamin' hfee 



fire her hair twi*tin' an' writhin' 



wipers. 



SHANNOND ALE. 



127 



an' her mouth covered with white foam . all the 
time she wur shriekin' < I did it, I did it.' It 
wur clear to see the poor gall wur driv ravin' 
'stracted mad 'long o 7 the scare! But what 
wur awful to hear, wur that as soon as that poor 
forsok ole Kill, heerd the poor mad gall 'cuse 
herself, the cussed infuunelly ole d 1 snatched 
at the chance, an' though he had not spoke a 
word in his own fence afore now, lif ' up his 
voice an' say yes that wur the truffe 'cause he 
saw her do it t' Oh! my blessed Heavenly Mars- 
ter. when a darned etarnal fool do sell his soul 
to the devil there ain't no ind to his devil- 
ments !" 

' You seem to be so sure that your husband 
did ttiis! /think that some weight should be 
attached to Miss Hinton's self accusation !" 

" Lor' chile ! 1 ^ish it had been she 'fore it 
had ever been poor old man Kill, but, honey, there 
was n't no chance o' its bein' any body else but 
he, cause you see, honey, wasn't the door busted 
open wasn't it fastened on the inside, an' 
was n't ole Kill foun' hidin' in the room, so scare, 
he did n't know what to say ?" 

" True ! most true !" 

" And did n't the house-keeper say as she wur 
wakfl up in the night, by hearing o' ole marster 
an' Kill in loud altercation? Ah! Lord, Miss 
Mar'get, I don't love that young gall a bit ! I 
do^rt beleeve no good of her! but she didn't do 
that t'aere ! I wish to the Lord she had /" 

" Did the doctor get there ?" 

{f The sturgeon? yes, honey an' Colonel Dan- 
gerfiel' too. An' Colonel Dangerfiel' had ole 
Kill lock up till this mornin', an' the sturgeon 
had ole marster took oil to his room, an 5 Miss 
Sina took off to hern, and he hisself widied the 
night 'tween them two bein' fuss 'long o' ole 
marster, an' nex' 'long o' the poor gall-oh ! Lord, 
how I do wish it had been she sure enough !" 

" What opinion did the doctor give of his pa- 
tients ?" 

" Yes, honey he said how' ole marster's wuss 
case was a confusion of the horse-pit as had 
stunned him, an' how Miss Sina's wur a Sarah 
Bell (cerebral) information as had drive her 
crazy !" 

"'That was last night! How are they this 
morning ?" 

" 'Cisely the same, chile ! please my blessed 
Heavenly Marster, they are, Miss Mar'get, Ole 
marster layin' like he was dead an' Miss Sina 
ravin' like she was 'stracted 'deed they are! 
Ole joarster stupid so nobody can't roust him 
Miss Sina ravin' so nobody can't hold her ! ole 
Kill layin' in jail, where Colonel Dangerfiel' 
'mitted him airly this mornin' to wait till he got 
over his scare 'fore he 'xamined him agin !" 

I said that the bridl*- path between Red-Stone 
Hall and Oak Grove was very beautiful upon 
the margin of the river through the deep forest 
over the tops of rocks, etc. The carriage road 



was a different affair up and down steep hills 
all the way now the coach would be laboring 
slowly and Heavily up rhe steep hill and now 
rushing, tumbling, and thundering down with a 
a tumultuous rapidity, tnat threatened every in- 
stant to pitch the back of the carriage over the 
heads of the horses Old Nerve held on to the 
side loops desperately, with both hands, and at 
last called out to the driver " I say Bob ! drive 
careful, honey ! 'ca'se you got an onlucky passen- 
ger 'board, 'deed you has ! Drive careful, ctiile ! 
'ca'se you see ef you goes an' breaks my neck, 
I can't be hang in place o' poor ole man Kill, 
'deed I can't (I wonder if hangin' does uurt 
bad,) drive careful, honey, down this drea'ful 
Lord have massy upon top of us ! HILL" 

The last word jumped out with a heavy re- 
bounding jolt, that, however brought them safely 
to the bottom of the hill, and in full sight of 
Oak Grove Hall. In ten more minutes, Mrs. 
Summerfield had arrived alighted and followed 
by Nerve, had entered the house. 



CHAPTER XXXVII 

THE TRIAL. 

Let the prisoner be placed at the bar 

Legal Fo-m of Invitation. 

I'll see, before I doubt ; when I doubt prove; 
And on the proof there is no more but this 
Away at once with love and jealousy 

Shakspeare. 

There was quite a crowd of people assembled 
at Oak Grove. There is nothing, neither wed- 
ding, christening, nor funeral, for bringing people 
together like a catastrophe, particularly if there 
is a mystery in it. On seeing the state of Squire 
Darling, Mrs. Summerfield had thought proper to 
send, first for Miss Summerfield, old Mrs. Dar- 
ling, and Mrs. Ardenne, from Red-Stone tail. 
These three ladies had arrived, accompanied by 
Harriet Joy, who was always ready to offer her 
assistance in every species of distress. Next 
she had sent for Colonel Dangerfield, HI his capa- 
city of magistrate, and lastly, for Father Bur- 
leigh, to be on the spot " in case" to quote the 
vague language used to prefigure an expected 
dissolution " in case anything should happen " 

Squire Darling's wounds had been Dressed, and 
he lay upon his bed flat on his back, perfectly 
motionless, his eyes half open, but " lacking 
speculation," his lips blue and glutinous, his skin 
of that gray paleness, which is usually the 
gathering shades of death Winny, weak and 
pale, sat by her father's bed, her " numbed" 
affections slowly reviving at the piteous sight. 

Sina Hinton, in the opposite wing of the build- 
ing, lay tossing arid tumbling, or violently strug- 
;ri og, and filling the air with her maniac screams. 
Hettie Smilie and her father, who had come over 



128 



S H A. N N O N D A L E . 



at the first news of the calamity, had as much as 
th-y could do to hold her down during one of her 
paroxysms of frenzy. She was possessed with 
the idea that she had murdered Squire Darling, 
and was about to be led to the scaffold for the 
crime ; all her desperate shrieks and violent 
struggles were to escape the visionary execu- 
tioner. There could be no greater trial to the 
good little landlord and his tender-hearted daugh- 
ter, than to witness this agony of frenzy. Poor 
little Sammie Smilie she always took for the 
execut oner, and would shriek horribly when he 
woul'i approach to hold her, to prevent her 
throwing herself upon the floor, or dashing her 
head against the wall. This hurt his feelings 
more than anything. 

" Me a hangman the Lora save ner soul ! 
Me ! as allus goes out of sight and hearing when- 
ever they kill a chicken for dinner. Do I look 
like a Jack Ketch, 1 asks any candid BOU! ?" the 
little fellow *vould say, sitting down, puffing and 
blowing and panting, and wiping his innocent, 
round face with MB speckled, yellow handker- 
chief Hettie, do I look cruel, honey ?" 

<* No indeed, father ! you look just like what 
you are, the very best man in the whole world, 
I don't care who the others may be, even if they 
are priests, of presidents don't mind what she 
gays father she is raving mad !" 

These conversations would occur after Sina, 
with her violent struggles and shrieks, had quite 
worn out her strength, and lay in a state of tem- 
porary quietude from exhaustion. And it was 
singular that no one noticed her raving, or at- 
tached any suspicio \ to her from the fact of her 
self accusation. What motive in fact could Miss 
Hilton be supposed to have for deadly enmity to 
Squire Darling? On the contrary, every one 
supposed them to be on terms of the most per- 
fect confidence and cordiality. There was one 
indeed who grew pale and stern suddenly, when 
he would hear of Miss Hiaton's maniac fan- 
cies" Colonel Dangerfield. He had, it is true, 
upon the strength of the strong, and but for one 
fact known only to Colonel Dangerfield himself, 
overwhelming circumstantial evidence, incarcera- 
ted poor old Kill, but he dared not trust his own 
greatly biased judgment with the onus of com- 
mitting him for trial he preferred being assisted 
by the cool heads and unburdened hearts of two 
of his brother magistrates. Old Kill had been 
confined not in jail yet, as poor Nerve and his 
fellow-servants for his better security had been 
ted to suppose but in a distant chamber in the 
house, there to await the arrival of the other 
magistrates. 

Tuey came about noon. One a stern, severe 
looking man; tall, lean, dark, bilious, exceed- 
ingly given to ferreting out incipient insurrec- 
tions ; his whole grave and stiff deportment ex- 
pressing solemn "self-esteem." His name was 
Rock. And the other a nice, pretty, smiling, 



skipping little gentleman, exquisitely well dress- 
ed ; every expression, tone and caper, denoting 
dapper '< approbativeness " The name of this 
pleasant little fellow was Lovejoy. The court 
was held, or rather the examination was con- 
ducted in the parlor. The three magistrates 
occupied seats at one end of the room I. Rock, 
Esq.," occupying the centre chair, and flanked 
on the right by the pretty little Mr. Lovejoy, 
and on the left by the stern and sad Colon 
Dangerfield. A long table wa* before them, 
one end of which sat a clerk, with pen, ink 
paper before him. The family and visitors th 
in the house were requested to be present at the 
examination. And indeed by this time the house 
swarmed with all sorts of people. The servants, 
with frightened looks and whispering tones, were 
collected in the passage ways. 

Presently poor old Kill was led, or rather drag- 
ged in, half dead with terror, and between two 
constables. He was the perfect ideal of abject 
guilt. His looks would have been evidence 
enough to any jury to bring in a verdict of 
GUILTY. Yes, his face then would have hanged 
him. He was followed by old Nerve, weeping 
bitterly, and goaded in by a man with a stici 
walking behind her. Kill was placed before 
judges, end then Nerve threw herself on 
neck weeping and hugging, and hugging ai 
weep'ng ; while between sobs and gasps she ej 
horted him as follows 

"Oh! Killus, honey! 'fess, chile! 'fesa! tell 
ole marster up there (I Rock, Esq., sitting 
bolt upright, very dark and threatening,) te 
ole marster up there how Sam got the better 
you! do, chile! Oh! Killus, 'fess! an' s 
your poor, mortal soul! Oh, honey! fear 
them as kin kill the poor, ole, 'firm, black boc 
but fear Him as can cast both body an' soui 
hell ! Oh, Killus ! you an' me is ole, we is ! 
we hasn't got long to stay on this yeth, 
hasn't ! not many days we hasn't ; an' if th< 
goes an' takes away these few days, it ain't 
'count 'pared to 'ternitv don't less risk 'ternit 
long o' tellin' lies ! don't!" 

t( x 1 i ain't got nothin' to 'fess 'bout / li- 
ne ver didn't do it,Minnv 1" chattered the teeth 
poor old Kill. 

"Order, in the court!" thundered dark 
Rock. 

" Yes, marster ! yes ! 1 will order in the 
in one minute. Is it out in the yard ? You 
Bob, an' order in the court, while I talks to 
poor, ole, sinful, sufferin' angel! Bob'll go, ms 
ster ! 1 only wants for to 'suade my poor ol 
'panion to 'fes an' save his poor, mortal soi 
Killus, honey ! Killus! listen to me, honey! don' 
look so scared ! I dessay, it ain't so bad ai 
all, an', an' it'll soon be over the death !- 
then think o' the long 'ternity, if you'll 'fess, an 
heave the bad truck off your poor soul!" 



SHANNOND ALE. 



129 



tt i i ain't got nothin 1 to 'fes, I keep on tell- 
ing of you!" sobbed old Kill. 

" Oh ! Killus! Killus, honey! you an' me is 
ole, we is ! an' we'll soon be in 'ternity anyhow; 
an' does you think your poor ole Minny could 
joy herself 'long of Mary, an' Joseph, an' Jesus, 
xn' Abraham, an', an' Isaac,, an' Jacob, an' Gm- 
rel Washin'ton, an' th'e other ladies and gent- 
'men in Heaven, ef she seen how her poor, ole 
Killus was keepin' company long o' the devil, an' 
Judas, an' Ben'ict Arnolt ? No, honey ! no ! you 
hear rap at the door ! an' when Sam get up an* 
open it, you see your poor oie Minny stanin' 
there, come to stay 'long o' you, an' the devil, 
an*- the t'aitors ! Oh ! Killue, save your poor, 
mortal soul, an' mine, too 'fess, Killus ! 'fess !" 
"If," wept the old man, with his head dropped 
upon his hands, if anything could make this 
here bitter hour, when they 'cuses me. 'fore Miss 
Mar'get an' all my chiid'en, o' killin' o' my own 
marster, as I loved nex' bes' to God A'mighty 
any bitterer ! it would be to hear my ole 'oman 
think so wicked o' me!" 

It must not be supposed that the magistrates 
had set there in patient silence, while this scene 
was being rehearsed before them. Colonel Dan- 
gerfield indeed had been stern and silent, but "I. 
Rock, Esq ," had made several attempts to en- 
force order, and would have done so, only that 
gracious Mr. J : -ovejoy interfered and prevented 
him, using the ostensible argument that some- 
thing might be elicited from the scene. Soon, 
however, they put an end to it, and while old 
Kill, half fainting, was held up between two con- 
stables, old Nerve was sworn to give in her testi- 
mony ; and out of all rule and order, and with a 
streaming face, she turned to the prisoner and 
said, 

" Kill ! ef my testament hang you, chile, I 
can't help of it, honey ! 'deed I can't, my poor, 
dear, ole darlin'! I 'bliged to 'fess the truffe! 
Meed 'fore my Heavenly Marster an' Judge, I 
has, chile!" 

And in fact, Minerva's testimony bore very 
hard upon the prisoner, to wit : His taking the 
deep draught of whiskey going out late at night 
refusing to tell her where her next seeing 
him when at the alarm the door of Squire Dar- 
ling's chamber was broken open, and the master 
was discovered prostrate and bleeding, and the 
man dragged half dead with terror from behind 
the window curtain. Through all sorts of cross- 
questioning, Nerve stuck to this story. At last 
she sat down, weeping, sobbing, and gasping 
hysterically. The housekeeper was next called, 
sworn, and deposed, that between ten and eleven 
o'clock she had been awakened from her sleep 



wakened by loud voices in the squire'* room. 
She heard the squire's voice in a very high key, 
and then a sudden fall, a violent bell ringing, ani 
sudden pause ; then the door was burst open, the 
squire found wounded and senseless, and ttae old 
negro hid behind the curtain. Several of the 
house-servants were called, and all corroborated 
the testiraor.y of the housekeeper in every par- 
ticular. Item Nerve " thought" sorru! une rush- 
ed out as they all rushed in, but could not take it 
upon her conscience to swear to it. Aa none of 
the other witnesses knew anything of this occur- 
rence it went for nothing. SUMMARY: Old Kill was 
committed to the county jail to await his trial 
for assault, with intent to kill his master a 
capital offence in the Southern States. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. 

Ho\ little do they see what is, who frame 
Their hasty judgment upon that which seems. 

Southey. 

Had Squire Darling died in his insensibility, it 
is certain that old Kill would have been hanged 
upon strong circumstantial evidence. No sooner 
also, had the prison door clanged to upon the 
poor old soul, than he nearly gave himself up for 
lost, and began assiduously to prepare for death; 
if shuddering, shivering, compressing his throat 
with his fingers to realize how painful the stran- 
gulation might be, and gasping out frightened 
ejaculations to Heaven for mercy, could be called 
preparation. When the jailor, who was also 
turnkey, brought him supper, he fell down on his 
knees, and clasping his hands, with tears in his 
eyes, he besought him to let him out only to 
let him out ! he had a hundred dollars f he had 
been saving them all his life long, buried in a 
bee-gum marster jailor should have it all if he 
would only let him out OUT ; oh ! to get OUT ! it 
was so horrible to be s-hut up there even al$ night 
even if nothing worse came of it The jailor 
was sorry for the poor old soul ; tried to com- 
fort him, but told him it was impossible to grant 
his request. Old Kill tossed and tumbled on his 
stravr all night groaning, " This here comes 
of eaves-dropping I Oh, Lord! oh, Lord! this 
here comes of eaves-droppingit does !" Near 
morning he formed a resolution, and when the 
turnkey brought him his breakfast, he expressed 
it in these words " Marster, I want- you, ef 
you please, sir, for to send for Colonel Dacger- 
fiel'. 'deed 1 does, sar I I gwine to 'fess 'deed 



I is, sir ! 1 ain't gwine to fly in the face o' my 
by hearing Squire Darling in loud abuse of his 'Vine Marster any longer ! I gwine to 'fess, 



man Kill ; that sin distinguished Kill's voice in 
reply many times, but could not make out what 
was said- She said there followed a silence, du- 
ring which she slept ; that at last she was again 



Meed I is, sir ! 

" No, uncle, I wouldn't do such a foolish thing 
as that, indeed. No body is bound to criminate 
themselves." 



130 



SH ANNv. ND ALE. 



But Kill evidently thought that his only chance 
now lay in telling the trutb. He reiterated his 
request that Colonel Dangerfield might be 
brought. 

A messenger was dispatched to " The Sol- 
dier's Rest;'" and soon returned, accompanied 
by the Colonel. He entered the cell, and found 
the poor oil prisoner sitting down on the straw, 
with a silk handkerchief thrown over his head, 
and his face bowed upon his hands Colonel 
Dangerfieldjaimself looked sombre, care-worn 
and exhausted. He leaned with his back to the 
wall of the poor cell that did not boast a single 
seat, folded his arms, and after gazing a moment 
at the bowed and collapsed form before him with 
a ray of selfish h^pe in his face, he said, 

" Well, old man, vou sent for me what do 
you want ?" 

"To 'fess, marster, 'deed I does, sir !" 

Now the countenance ot Colonel D^ngerfield 
positively brightened 

" To confess! whatl You actually did " 

' Yes, I did, marster ! 'Fore my Heavenly 
'Deemer, I did!" 

" You poor miserable old creature ! What 
tempted you to commit such a crime ?" 

" It wur all along o' eaves-droppin', 'deed it 
wrr, marster ! But I never thought how it 
would come to this here !" 

"The wages of sin is death !*' 

True, Lord !" 

Old man, I wished to hear your confession 
for my own private satisfaction, and for the ex- 
culpation of an innocent person, who but no 
matter " 

" Yes, sir ! yes, marster, it wur for the ex- 
pulsion o' a poor innocen* sinner as I 'fesscd, 
sir!" 

" I was about to say that you are not bound 
to criminate yourself." 

" Yes, sir, 1 knows it but you see, marster, 
'less I crimerntes myself, you'll keep on o' think- 
ing' as it wur me sticked the little pi'nard in 
ole master's atomic." 

" In the name of heaven, old man, what do 
you mean?" exclaimed Colonel Dangerfield, 
growipg again suddenly alarmed 

" I mean haw it wur Miss SINA, marster ! 
please the just Judge above, it wur, marster, for 
I seed her a-doin' of it, an' that there wur what 
I bad to 'fess, for it wur all along o' eaves-drop- 
pin', nrmrater, as 1 seen it, an' wur cotched there, 
an' am hero!" 

'Tell me all about this!" commanded Colo 
nel Dangerfield, with frowning brow, set teeth, 
and closely rivetted arms. 

"Why, you see, marster-' ole marster, he 
'spected how you an* Miss Sina wur on wery 
frien'ly terms so he sot me to watch Miss 
Siaa 

Colonel Dargerlield tied his eve-brows up 
into a hard knot. 



"Beg your pardon, marster, bnt he 'manded 
me. dr. an' I wnr bound tc 'bey, so I follied her 
on to your house night afore las', an' when I 
seed her enter 1 goed back 'cordin* to orders, and 
telled ole marster; then, sir, he hev himself into 
a passion 'long o' me, and knocked me heels over 
head down stairs " 

And served you right, you old villain !" 

" 'Cisely so, sir! Well, while I wur a rubbin* 
o' my bones, he calls me back, an' swears me 
never to say a mortal word to any livin' soul 
bout it ; an' then 'misses me agin. Well, mars- 
ter, while I wur goin' slow like out, 1 hears ole 
marster leave his room, an' go an' lay wait for 
that young gall who hadn't 'riv yet! Well, 
marster ! now come the sin, an' the shame, an* 
the sufferin'. You, see, marster, I allu* had a 
laud'ble 'sire after inferation so I goed into 
marster's room, an' hid ahind the windy- cur- 
tins, 'case I wanted so bad to hear what he 
gwine say to her. Well, bless the Lord, pres- 
en'ly he comes pullin' her in by the han' " 

Colonel Dangerfield grew black in the face. 

Then he 'gan scold her. Then she 'gan 'fen' 
herself. Then he shame her for gwine see gem- 
men in his own house. Then she brag on gwine 
be married to you, sir " 

Colonel Dangerfield made a movement expres- 
sive of disgust and impatience. 

" Then he sweared how she shouldn't have 
you, sir ! Then she laughed scornful an' said 
how he couldn't 'vent it. Then he telled her 
how he'd tell you how she had been I couldn't 
'xactly hear what but somethin' dreadful, for 
Miss Sina screamed right out, an' said, < No ! no ! 
no ! he would never do that !' An' he sweared by 
all a* wur good an* great an' sacred, how he 
would do an* say jis that, an' bow then, sir ! you 
would never look at her, but spurn her away. 
Then Miss Sina got awful mad, an' high words 
riz, an' final, ole marster he cotch Miss Sina up 
in his arms, an' 'gan for to kiss her, as he said 
he had done a thousand times afore an' pres- 
en'ly 1 heerd her speak deep an' threatenin' like 
thunder an' then I peeped out, an' saw some- 
thin' gleam and disappear, an' a scream, an' 
fall, an' then, blessed be my Heavenly Lord the 
room turned- all rouu' with me, an' I never 
knowed a Biugly thin' till I foun' tho room full o' 
people, an* me tied han' and foot, an' a layin' < 
the floor, an 5 Miss Sina etrugglin' in the hands 
of four women, as wur tryin' for to hold her 
ravin,' foamin,' her eyes wild, her arms flyin' over 
her head, her hair streamin', and ecreamin' how 
she did it herself; an' then I memorized where I 
was, an' all about it : an' I riz up, an' I telled 
'em how yes it wur she, 'case 1 seed her do it ; 
an' they wouldn't hear to it ; an* telled me to 
hush a tryin' to put my crime on top o' the poor 
mad gall. Even my ole 'omaiv " (here Kill 
ground his knuckles into his eyes) "yes, 
marater, even my ole 'oman 'lieved me for to be 






SHANNONDALE. 



131 



guilty. There, marster ! that wur what I had 
to 'fess, 'deed it wur, sir ! an' it wur all the truth 
please my just Heavenly Judge, it wur, sir! 
Now, sir, if you'll only give me a chance to 
speak to my poor 'oman, an' take some o' the 
load often top o' her poor 'stressed min', I be so 
much 'bliged to you, sir ! 'deed I would, mars- 
ter ! 'Fore the Lord, 1 would, sir !" 

It is impossible to describe the expression of 
Colonel Danger field's countenance and attitude 
during this recital. His face expressed the bit- 
ter sorrow of one who discovered the woman he 
loved to be worthless ; the bitter self loathing 
of one who found himself out to be grossly duped 
shame, disgust, rage, determination all sup- 
pressed but intense. At last he spoke. 

"Achilles!" 

Sir !" 

"Speak nothing of this to any one, until I 
come to you again." 

Not to my ole 'oman, sir ?" 

Yes ! I will send her here ; you may clear 
yourself with her but in that case detain her 
here until I come !" 

'Cisely so, sir !" 

And Colonel Dangerfield left the prison. Now 
this story of Kill's corresponded so well with his 
well known character of eaves-dropper, and 
agreed so well with other circumstances in con- 
nection, that Colonel Dangerfield could have no 
blessed doubt of its truth. Indeed frequently 
before this, and during the absence of Sina, he 
had been struck with the most painful suspicion 
which, in her presence and under the miraculous 
fascinations of her manner, had entirely disap- 
peared, and for which he had mentally and se- 
verely reproached himself seeking to make 
amends to her for his silent doubts, by throwing 
into his manner the greatest devotion. 

Reader, have you never been tormented by 
such a state of affairs? Among all your ac- 
quaintances, are there none whom you in your 
cool and sober moments of solitude and reflec- 
tion, know to be at heart, selfish, and calculating 
yet whose fascinations of manner will com- 
pel you to abjure your- instincts, and even fill 
you with remorse, for ever having cherished 
an evil thought of them? Do you remember the 
anecdote told of Sheridan and one of his credi- 
tors whom he had victimized an hundred times, 
and who going to him full of fury to collect his 
debts or throw the debtor into prison came 
away not only without fulfilling his purpose, but 
actually a hundred pounds poorer than he went 
Sheridan having magnetized an additional hun- 
dred pounds out of his pocket by way of a loan. 

Ajid then there was Sampson and Delilah. 
One would think that after the syren had tricked 
him twice had twice falsely and traitorously 
sought to deliver him bound into the hands of his 
enemies, failed and been discovered; that Samp- 
son would have been wise, atd not permitted 



the Circe to magnetize his vital secret from his 
bosom but you read that he would not, or could 
not resist her fascinations; and in spite of his 
bitter experience of her first treachery, and her 
palpable inflexibility of purpose to betray him, 
he trusts her again, and is finally ruined. 

There is no doubt on earth that had Sina Hin- 
ton been once more on her feet, with that melo- 
dious voice and those alluring eyes once more 
under her sane control, she would have wiled 
her victim to believe just what she pleased ; bttt 
self-cheated with her own duplicity, and self- 
stung to madness by her own fierce passions, the 
girl now raved in high delirium, or lay in fits of 
complete prostration and insensibility. There 
was a change passing over her illness now. Every 
fit of frenzy was less violent, and every relapse 
into insensibility was more complete, and in the 
latter state now her features began to wear the 
pinched expression, and her complexion the 
grayness of approaching dissolution. 

True to his promise, Colonel Dangerfield sent 
old Minerva to the prison. This was the first 
opportunity the jealous surveillance of the offi- 
cers had permitted the old couple to talk toge.- 
ther. Now as Nerve entered, she threw herself 
upon the neck of her old husband, and " lifting 
up her voice," wept aloud, exhorting him between 
her sobs and gasps to " 'fess." 

I has 'fessed," said the old man, and went 
on to explain to her the simple circumstances 
that had led to his being suspected. 

Tears expressed all Nerve's emotions if 8*ae 
were afflicted, she wept; if she were highly 
amused, she laughed till she wept ; and now her 
tears came in floods, to express the joy she felt, 
as she clasped and kissed her old life-long friend 
again and again, sobbing and laughing in her 
foolish fondness. 

" My ole chile ia innocen'! my dear ole cbile 
is innocen' he hasn' 'fended of his 'Vine Mar- 
ster ! he basn' lifted of his han' agin his yetblv 
marster! Oh ! it is sich a comfort for to know 
my dear ole chile is an innocen' lamb is a poor, 
dear, innocen', sufferin' ole angel!" 

And so she sobbed, and laughed, until her 
dear old angel said 

But, ole 'oman, honey, bein' innocen' as su 
unhatch chicken ain't a- g wine save me, long as 
circumferences make so much 'gin me !" 

Oh, Killus, honey, I ain't got a singly fear ! 
'deed I isn't, honey ! Only when I thought 
how you was guilty, then I was sad and sufferm' 
now I's joyful I is not got a singly nothin' 
ain't no 'portance, 'parison to your bein' inno- 
cen'." 

While they were yet speaking, the turnkey 
entered, and told Kill that he was free to leave 
the prison, for that an order had come for his ba- 
ing set at liberty. 

There, Killus ! there ! didn't I tell you how 



132 



SHANNONDALE 



your innocence would shine out as the light 
didn' I tell you so, my dear ole chile?" 

They hurried joyously away reached Oik 
Grove, where their fellow servants received 
them with loud demonstrations ot joy at the outer 
farm gate then, as they approached the house, 
they became silent, and whispered to Kill and 
Nerve that death was in the house. (Xd Rill 
thought it was hie master, and grew very ashy 
in the face he entered the house with noiseless 
steps- His companions dispersed. He met Co- 
lonel Daogei field, looking grave and sorrowful. 
He bowed to the Colonel, and begged to know if 
he might see his old master. Colonel Danger- 
field assented, and the old man passed slowly 
and reverentially up stairs. He tapped at the 
door, which was opened by Harriette Joy, who 
silently admitted him. The room was in semi- 
darkness, but lying on the bed he recognized his 
master, p*le and prostrate, but certainly not dy- 
ing he could see that, even in this subdued 
light. Father Burleigh sat by the head of the 
bed. The old man approached cautiously, and 
stood silently by the bedside. It seems that he 
had been sent for, or expected, for his master 
feebly extended his hand to him, and faintly 
said 

"Poor poor poor poor devil .'" and dropped 
his hand and voice, exhausted. After a few mi- 
nutes, 'looking at him, he said, very faintly 
They would have hanged you for eaves- 
dropping. I told you how it would end !" And 
after another interval, he motioned for a restora- 
tive, which Harriette put to his lips. When he 
had drunk this off, he motioned to Father Bar- 
leigh and Harriette to leave him alone with hit 
servant. When they left the room, he turned to 
Kill, and said, in a stronger voice "So, Kill! 
s'pose Pd died in a stupor ! you'd been execu- 
ted on strong circumstantial evidence all owing 
to your habit of eaves-dropping." 

Yes, marster ! I knows it ! I knows it, ar ! 
'detd 1 does ! I's cured, sir ! 'deed 1 is !" 

" Glad to hear it ! but I ent for you to say, 
that on pain of my severest displeasure, you are 
not to mention to any soul, the scene that you 
witnessed." 

No, sir! I won't, sir ! 'deed, sir, 1 won't!" 

" Have you spoken of it, to any one ?" 

" No, sir !< to no one, sir, 'cept it wur to Co 
lonel Dangerfield, and to my old 'oman, sir." 

" Dangerfield! yes! it was as well he knew 
it ! and Nerve go, now, and enjoin Nerve to 
silence for if ever I hear of this subject again, 
from any quarter, I shall know it came from you 
and Nerve in which case come ! 1 do not like 
to threaten, but you know me !" 

"Yes, sir!" 

"Well, go!" 

The old man bowed himself from the room. 
4s he glided along the. darkened and silent pas- 



sages, a low, deep, prolonged wail rose and 
swelled upon the ear ! 

" The Lord have massy upon us !" ejaculated 
the old creature, trembling. " What wis that?" 
A second time it arose upon the air swelling in 
a volume of sound and sorrow, and died away in 
quivering anguish. "Lord save us what was 
that ?" again Cried the old man. 

"Hush, CJncle Kill ! it is Sina! she is dy- 
ing," said Hnrriette Joy, as she emerged from a 
side door, which, as it opened, gave a glimpse of 
a darkened chamber, a canopied bed, and emer- 
ging from the deep shadows of the picture the 
shadows of surrounding curtains and dark-draped 
figures, gleamed a wild and maniac face, with 
streaming hair, and long, thin, pale arrrs thrown 
aloft like streaks of light among black clouds. 
She closed the door instantly on this horrible pic- 
ture. Harriette approached him and drawing him 
down the passage, said "Uncle Kill, she ii dying 
dying horribly unshriven unanointed go- 
ing as no soul should go, into the presence of its 
Creator. Father Burleigh can do nothing with 
her. Even if a gleam of reason returns, she 
laughs horribly in his face, and tells him that 
she will hear him when they both renew their 

acquaintance in Oh, you know the place 

she said. It is horrible'. Utcle Kill, you must 
saddle the fastest horse in the stable, and go to 
Sacred Heart for Mr. Vellemonte He can still 
the fiercest tempest I ever saw artce in a sinful 
human breast perhaps he can bring quiet to 
this stormy soul." 

"Yes, honey, yer, ! yes, chile! But, Miss 
Harry, for the pityful Lord's sake, honey, tell 
me how it corned 'roun' as rny innocence was 
made manifes' as the sun at noonday jes tell 
me that, an' I'll ride like Sheriff was a-hind of 
me 'deed I will, Miss." 

Why, Mr. Lovejoy remained in the house to 
watch the event of Squire Darling's wound, and 
he gave strict orders that if he should return to 
consciousness, he, 1 mean Mr. Lovejoy, should 
be summoned immediately, to take advantage of 
what might be a temporary return to reason 
only, to take down his deposition. Well ! as soon 
as your master gave signs of returning conscious- 
ness, we sent for him. An hour after, during 
his examination, your master testified, to every 
one's astonishment, your entire innocence of 
any participation in his assassination, and more, 
refused to discover the guilty party of that 
guilty party, however, alas! "added Harriette, 
there can be now no doubt upon any mind and 
I say this now, because I believe you to have 
been a witness to the whole scene and to ad- 
vise you as you value the peace of your master's 
family to be forever silent upon the subject." 

1 gwine to, MIBS Harry 'deed I is, chile !" 

There now, hurry, Uncle Kill, and get Mr. 
Vellemonte here." 

The old man hurried to the stables once 



SHANNOND ALE. 



133 



again, saddled the best blood in the stalls, and 
fastened to Sacred Heart. He returned in two 
hours, attending Mr. Veliemonte. The young 
priest passed immediately into the chamber of 
the dying maniac. I suppose some would say 
it was mestneufm, some mere mannerism, while 
others, with a better faith, would define it to be 
the po A er of religion that enabled the young priest 
to compose the raving girl, who, settling into her 
last repose, lost that agonized contraction of the 
features that had, since her illness, marked her 
countenance even in its moments of exhaustion. 

One hour after this Sina Hmton died. 

Her iuneral took place the third d*y from that 
of her death. The event was broken gradually 
to Squire Darling; who, nevertheless, suffered 
a severe relapse. It was a fortnight before the 
convalescence of the squire permitted his rela- 
tives to return to their home taking with them 
Winny, whose feeb.lenfss required the constant 
attentions of her aunt and cousin. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 
FATHER BURLEIGH'S CONFESSION. 

Oh! thoudead 

And everlasting witness ! whose unsinking 
Blood darkens earth and heaven ! what thou art now 
I know not! bu f if thou see'st wk-it I am, 
I think thou wilt forgive him whom his God, 
Can ne'er forgive, nor his own soul. 

Byron's Catn. 

The deeply tragic events at Oak Grove had so 
shattered the nerves of the good old pastor of 
Sacred Heart, that he now lay stretched pros- 
trate on his humble bed at the cottage parsonage. 
Miss Mattie Smilie, Harriette Joy, and the young 
curate, Claude Vellemonte, vied in their atten- 
tions upon him. But the influence of the young 
curate was as heretofore the most healthful. His 
look and tone and touch were as usual life -in- 
spiring. 

" I rion't know what make* me feel so," said 
Miss Mattie Smilie, as she busied herself setting 
out " bulbouses"inthe garden ; " but somehow or 
other good and great as he is, it does feel to me 
as if Mr. Vellemonte oughten't for to be a 
priest!" 

" Way ?" asked Harry Joy, I want you to 
tell me why, because I have often had that 
thought myself?" 

Why, it feels to me as if he were too full of 
life." 

Levity ?" 

Levity ? what's tbat ?" 

Why flippancy lightness of conduct a a 
gayety joyousness!" 

N-no not that, but too full of LIFE that's 
the word ! I don't know any other." And so in- 



deed felt every one even while worshipping their 
giited young curate. 

I have spoken before of the half suppressed 
joyousness of heart that was the very illumina- 
tion of his highly vitalized beauty, and of thav 
power springing from perfect healthfulnes* of 
body, mind, and spirit rising above circum- 
stances, and making glad every gloomy scene, 
bright every dark scene ; magnetizing the sick 
with health; inspiring the sceptic with faith 
raising the desponding by hope; softening the 
hardened, and redeeming the reprobate sinner by 
love ! It was in the fullness of this power that 
Claude Vellemonte sat by the bed of Father Bur- 
leigh on the afternoon of the Sunday next pre- 
ceding Easter. He had composed his patient 
into a refreshing sleep He had slept many 
hours, and still Claude Vellemonte retained his 
seat by the bed watching him steadily. At any 
sign of restlessness Claude would quietly slip 
his arm under the aged head, raise it tenderly, 
change the pillow, let the weary head down 
easily again, draw out bis arm, and smoothing 
back the thin gray locks from the sunken tem- 
ples, recompose him to sleep. If again he stir- 
red, a few passes of the cool hand over his brow 
and temples stilled him into deep repose so his 
rest was protracted for many hours. At last 
Claude Vellemonte knowing thut he had slept 
long enough suffered him to awake- The yoirog 
man sponged his hands and face with cold water 
and cologne, and gave him a glass of barley 
water flavored with lemon-juice. Then he 
changed his pillows and resumed his seat by his 
side with cheerfulness. 

" Claude," began the old priest. 

"My father!" answered the young man. 

"My son in years my father I had almost 
said in wisdom and in grace ! bless me for l 
have sinned. 3 " 

May God the Father, God the Son, and God 
the Holy Ghost blpss thee, my father!" 

" Son, I have somewhat to say to thee !" 

" Speak, father, I listen " 

" Draw the curtain, shut out the light, close 
the door, for it is a long and dark story I have to 
tell thee, my son !" 

Claude Vellemonte did as requested and re- 
sumed his seat at the bedside of the invalid. He 
took one of the old wasted hands within his own 
and held it while the old priest gained strength 
to tell his story. 

" Claude, did it never occur to you that I had 
a life-long sorrow and remorse ?" 

" I have seen it, father, and hoped for the day 
when you would confide in me and share your 
burthen with me to-night, I thank God, that 
you have strength to do so I listen." 

And he pressed the thin hand, and his young 
strong life seemed to send energy through all the 
feeble nerves of the invalid. The old priest com- 
menced his story. 



134 SHA.NNONDALE 

TH E SECRET CHIMB. 

was early left an orphan 



Clauds V^llemonte! 
with my twin sister. We were placed by the 
executor of our father's will in the same Mo- 
nasDc school for education she in the female 
department I in the male. We were then fif- 
teen years of age. 1 admired that sister of mine 
with an enthusiasm that no words can describe ! 
1 loved her with a strength and devotion to 
which no words can do justice. She was my 
sole thought in the present, my sole object in 
the future ! She was my love, my religion, my 
idolatry ! If I had an ambition for wealth, rank, 
power, or fame, it was that she might be crown- 
ed with glory ! The strict rule of the seminary 
in which we were placed forbade our meeting. 
The boys and the girls, or it would now be term- 
ed, the young gentlemen's and the young ladies' 
department had not even a chapel in common, 
but each had its separate place of worship and. 
its distinct pastor. Once a month, however, I 
was permitted to see my sister for half an hour 
in the ladies' parlor, in the presence of one of the 
cihterhood. These, restricted as our intercourse 
was, were the very brightest moments of my 
school days. Veronica was beautiful! Brothers 
do not generally see their sister's beauty, but I 
felt Veronica's extreme loveliness in my heart of 
hearts . I could see in every succeeding visit I 
paid her, a ne^ unfolding of beauty some new 
fresh leaf of the sweet bud blooming forth! 
How I longed for the time to come when we 
should be of age be emancipated from school 
life, and when I should take her home and have 
her with me forever. Then as I watched her 
growing into such wonderful beauty; I would 
think that even then some man would see and 
love her, would win her deepest love and wile 
her from me, and a pang of jealousy would dart 
through my heart. 1 strove with this feeling 
I partly conquered it. I grew to look upon Ve- 
ronica's future marriage as a certainty, and ac- 
customed mvse'tf to think of passing my life in 
her home as the bachelor brother and uncle 
and of making her children my heirs. And yet 
1 was very mu-h discontented with this prospect, 
and sighed for the past days when we had been 
the whole world to each other. Yes! I dreaded 
now the longed desired emancipation from school 
1 dreaded it as the greatest misfortune that 
threatened us. 

Evils that we dread seldom hipprn to us. 

Years parsed slowly enough over our heads 
and every successive year Veronica matured in 
beauty, and I loved her with a deeper devotion. 
But another change besides maturing of her 
loveliness, was coming on her. She grew not 
cold to me, but indifferent to w, I had almost 
said unconscious of me. Her beauty was get- 
ting a devotional character. Her expression be- 
came elevated, rapt, inspired. She was yrow n* 
to resemble come pictures of the Virgin Mary. I 



sometimes thought her high style of countenance 
inadvertently caught, as it were, from the inces- 
sant contemplation of some beatified sairt's or 
virgin's image. My soul felt darkened and chill- 
ed as though she had withdrawn her light and 
warmth from me, and was breathing it incense 
like to heaven. The time approached for our 
leaving school, which was the period also at 
which our guardian would surrender up to us our 
patrimony, and we should establish ourselves in 
the world. I was totally unprepared for what 
happened next. Upon the day we were to have 
left the seminary we assembled in the ladies 
parlor in the presence of the Lady Superior, the 
Chaplain of the institution, our guardian, and an 
attorney. There we were to be put in posses- 
sion of the title deeds of our patrimony, before 
taking leave of our many years' abode. It was 
there that I received from the lipa of the Lady 
Superior the information that my sister had de- 
termined to ta&e th* veil ! I could not, I would 
not believe it ! I appealed to Veronica herself. 
She confirmed the report of the Lady Superior. 
Her answer was conclusive. I was overwhelmed 
with affliction. I would not give her up. I said 
and did everything I could think of that might 
affect her resolution! In vain! I used argu- 
ment, persuasion, entreaties, tears ! To no pur- 
pose ! but it seemed, to fix her determination 
more firmly! Let me do others justice a'so. 
The Lady Superior, the sisters, the Chaplain, all 
thinking perhaps that her ignorance of life in the 
world, and her serene life in the convent might 
have unduly biased her inclinations, had tried to 
prevail on her at least to delay her purpose for a 
few years to go out and see the world she pro- 
posed to abandon before giving it up f<?rever. 
They wished, in fact, to take no unfair adran- 
tage of her ignorance and inexperience. The 
arguments and persuasions satisfied their own 
ideal of strict justice, but had no sort of effect 
upon Veronica's resolu'ion unless, as m-ne did, 
they confirmed her determination. She was in- 
fatuated mad as the sequel proved, Nearly 
frantic with grief I took my leave of Veronica 
the same day. Our Chaplain consoled me. He 
assured me again that every possib'e delay 
should be made, while every means was used to 
test the sincerity of my sister that there was 
little doubt that she, like many others, would 
reconsider her resolution- that very few were 
the "called, chosen, and faithful" brides of hea- 
ven. Again let me be just to the convent Every 
means were in fact used to test the strength of 
my sister's resolution, but only with the Affect 
of settling her more firmly in it. Never was a 
new postulant admitted with more caution, for 
all seemed to feel her step premature and ill con- 
sidered. She was kept two years in the convent 
as postulant before being permitted to enter upon 
her noviciate. 
I, alone and lonesome, went out into the world 



SHANNONDALE. 



135 



with something like the filings of a poor pri- j 
soner just released from a long imjrisorment, | 
knowing few, caring for one. I went to see j 
Veronica take the white v? 1 of a novice of the j 
Order of Mount Carmel. Let me describe to 
you the ceremony of her 



TAKING THE W.-IITE 

The chapel was full eve a crowded. Such a j 
rare event ever attracts a great crowd. I sat i 
among them broken-heaned, and wishing for 
death. Presently, the door on the right of the 
altar opened, and the bishop, preceded by two 
priests and four sacristans, entered and took their 
places at the altar. In a few moments after, 
the door on the left of the altar opened, and a 
procession of nuns, headed by a cross-bearer, and 
chanting Oh Glorioso Virginum," entered, and 
slowly approaching the altar, ranged themselves 
before it. In the midst of them was tt e new 
postulant, my young, my beautiful, my glorious 
sister Veronica! I saw nothing now but her 
I felt nothing but death ! High Mass was cele- 
brated I know, but I did not see it. A sermon 
by the bisbop followed, but I did not hear it. 
All that came next, passed like a sickly dream. 
At the conclusion of the sermon, a hymn to the 
Virgin was chanted. Then Veronica was led by 
the Lady Superior, up the steps of the altar 
and kneeling there with clasped hands and bowed 
head her golden ringlets drooping, and her 
white drapery trailing down the carpeted steps ; 
was interrogated as follows, by the bishop. 

" My child, what do you demand ?" 

" The mercy of God, and the holy habit of re- 
ligion," replied Veronica, in a sweet, clear voice. 

' Is it of your own free will that you demand 
the holy habit of religion ?" 

Yes, father!" 

Reverend mother,' 1 said the bishop, turning 
to tbe Lady Superior, who remained near the 
postulant, " have you made the necessary inqui- 
ries, and are you satisfied ?" 

" Yes, father," replied she 

My child," resumed the bishop, turning to 
Veronica, " have you a firm intention to perse- 
vere in religion to the end of your life, and do 
you hope to have sufficient strength to carry con- 
stantly the sweet yoke of our Lord Jesus C lariat 
solely, tor the love and fear of God ?" 

Rel i g on the mercy of God, I hope to be 
able to do so." 

The bishop then arose from his chair and ex- 
tending his t a ds over her head in benediction, 
said " What the Lord has begun in you, may 
He perfect. May the Lord banish from you, the 
old man with his w^rks." 

Amen," responded the novice, while the 
priests intoned the solemn chant, In exitu Is- 
rael," at the end of which, the nuns toak up 
another and more cheerful strain, singing in 
clear liquid tones, " Who is she that cometh 



from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning 
on her beloved ? Thou art all fair, my beloved, 
meek and beautitul. Come from Libanus my 
spousecome from Libanus Come, thou shalt 
be crowned " After this song died in melody 
away, the Lady Superior receiving from the 
bishop the girdle of the order, fastened it around 
the waist of the young novice, while the bihop 
said, " When thou wast younger, thou didst gird 
thyself, and didst walk where thou woul^st, but 
when thou shalt be old, another shall gird thee, 
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
of the Holy Ghost, Amen" Then hoi- urn; tae 
Dlessed veil over her fair head, he said, " Receive 
the white veil, the emblem of inward purity, 
that thou mayest follow the lamb without spot, 
and mayest walk with Him in white, in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and o-f the 
Holy Ghost, Amen." The Lady Su-perior then 
adjusted the veil, and Veronica rising-, received 
the mantle of the order from the bishop, and 
handing it to the Lady Superior, was arrayed in 
it while the bishop said " May the Lord re- 
store to thec the robe of immortality, which 
thou didst lose in the prevarication of thy first 
parents, in the name of the Father, and ef the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen." 

Being now arrayed in the full habit of the or- 
der, Veronica again knelt, holding her blessed 
taper, while the bishop, after sprinkling her with 
holy water, prayed in an audible voice, extend- 
ing his hands over her. After which, turning to 
the altar, in the name of the young novice, the 
bishop chanted the " Regnum Mundi,^ &c. 

The empire of the world, and all the gran- 
deur of this earth, I have despised for the love 
of the Lord Josus Christ, whom I have seen, 
whom I have loved, in whom I have believed, 
and towards whom my heart inclineth." 

Then the choir of nuns took up the strain and 
sung " My heart hath uttered a good word, I 
speak my works to the king, I have chosen to 
be abject in the house of rny Lord Jesus Const, 
Glory be to the Father," &c. As the chorus 
finished the " Quern Vidi," the young novice 
prostrated hersf If before the altar; the bishop, 
priests, sacristans, nun*, all knelt whita the so- 
lemn " Veni C'eator," was sung. Many pray- 
ers followed. Then the young novice rising, 
approached the Lady Superior, and knelt before 
her ahe rising embraced her, while the nuns 
approached in quiet succession, and gave her the 
kiss of sisterly love. After which, they retired 
again to their seats, while the wholt? choir burst 
forth in the joyous " Ecce quam bo, mm ' At 
the end of which the bishop pronounced th be- 
nediction, and the holy sisterhood retired in the 
orderly procession in which they had entered. 
The congregation dispersed. 

I was the last to leave the chapel. I left it, 
heart crushed. 
I believe I was always then, a shy, unsocial 



136 



SH A NN O NDALE. 



boy. I lived at home without even getting ac- 
quainted with my domestics- I found no friends, 
not even business friends. I had not even busi- 
ness connections no particular tailor no par- 
ticular hatter. I furnished myself with what I 
needed, at the first shop that presented itself al- 
ways. 1 suffered in my loneliness. Perhaps it 
was my own fault. I seldom, very seldom vi- 
sited Veronica It was such a mockery then to 
see her face within a grate, and her form swath- 
ed in the shroud-like white bands, and draped 
with the white mantle and veil of the order. 
Twelve months from her entering upon her novi- 
ciate, she took the black veil. Let me recall the 
day of her 

TAKING THE BLACK VEIL. 

The Ritual of the assumption by a novice of 
the Black Veil, that is to hide forever, the 
world from her eyes the pall that is to cover 
forever the brow of the living dead, is, let me 
tell you, if you have never seen the august and 
solemn ceremony much more profoundly im- 
posing than that of the initiation of a mere pos- 
tulant by the reception of the white veil. 

For weeks before the important day arrived, a 
rumor of a novice being about to take the black 
veil, went all over town and country. The awful 
ceremony was, even then, so rare in this country, 
that an immense crowd gathered, and from the 
earliest hour of its being opened, the chapel was 
crowded. I repaired to the chapel slowly and 
with a dying heart. 1 arrived late, and finding 
no seat, was forced to take a stand in one of the 
aisles near the altar, it was a beautiful, gor- 
geous and solemn autumn day the warm, still, 
gun rays, poured richly through the stained glass 
of the gothic windows, flooding the church with 
glorious, though mellowed light. Amid the 
great crowd, an awful silence reigned an awful 
stillness, too, moved only by the quivering of the 
gorgeous, many colored sun rays. 

Presently, as before, the door on the right 
hand of the altar noiselessly swung open, and a 
train ot sacristans in robes, entered, preceding 
the bibhop, priests and deacons, in their canoni- 
cals, and followed by the holy brotherhood in 
long procession, and took their places within, 
before, and about the altar, the bishop occupy- 
ing the centre. 

The door on the left now swung noiselessly 
open, and a procession of the holy sisterhood en- 
tered, preceded by a cross-bearer, while the 
choir chanted as before " Veni Creator." 
They ranged themselves quietly and solemnly, 
before the altar 

The novice approached from among them, and 
knelt before the altar. The act of profession, 
with pen and ink, lay near her. The bishop now 
intoned from the altar, the solemn < Emitte Spi- 
ritum tuum," &c., "Send forth thy spirit and 
they shall be created," while the novice re- 



gponded, And thou shalt renew the face of the 
earth." 

Then followed a prayer by the bishop, at the 
close of which he blessed the black veil, that 
lay near the altar. Then a chant was intoned 
alternately by the bishop and the candidate be- 
fore him. Next a prayer, at the end of which, 
the bishop sprinkled the black veil with holy 
water, and in the name of the Blessed Trinity, 
at the close of which rite, the gospel for the oc 
casion, was chanted by one of the officiating 
deacons. The Lady Superior and the Sub-Prioi- 
ess, then led the novice to the grate, where she 
was interrogated as follows, by the bishot) 
within. 

My child, what do you demand ?" 

" My father, 1 most humbly beg, that I may 
be received to the holy profession." 

My child, do you consider yourself suffi- 
ciently instructed in what regards the VOWB of 
religion and the rules and constitutions of this 
institute ? And do you know the obligations 
>ou contract by the holy profession ?" 

" Yes, my father, by the grace of God." 

" May God grant you perseverance in your 
holy resolution and may He deign in His mercy 
to consummate what He has begun. In the name 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. Amen." 

After this the organ pealed forth its rich tones, 
at regular intervals, announcing the solemn Mass 
of the Holy Ghost. During all this time the novice 
continued kneeling before the altar the Lady 
Superior on her right, the Sub Prioress on the 
left. At the end of the Mass, several praters 
were offered up, several psalms chanted, and 
then the Sub-Prioress, taking the lighted taper 
from the hands of the novice, laid the act of 
profession before her. She arose, took it up, 
approached the grate, and holding it in her hand, 
chanted the " vota mea Domini," &c.j "1 will 
pay my vows unto the Lord, in the sight of 
all His people, in the courts of the house of the 
Lord!" Then kneeling again, the Comfiteer 
was said, after which, the bishop pronouncing 
the " Domine non sum dignus," &c ; * Lord, I 
ann not worthy that Thou shouldst come under 
my roof," approached the grate bearing the 
Holy Eucharist, which he held before her while 
she thus pronounced her vows reading 

" In the name of our Lord and Saviour. Jesus 
Christ, and under the protection of His immacu- 
late Mother, Mary, ever Virgin. 1, Veronica 
Burleigb,, called in religion, Sister Veronica Giu- 
liana, ol che Most Holy Trinity, do vow and 
promise to God, perpetual poverty, chastny, 
obedience, and the service of the poor, sick and 
ignorant, to persevere unto the end of my life in 
this Institute of our Blessed Lady of Mount Car- 
mel, according to its approved rule and consti- 
tution, under the authority, and in presence of 
you, my Right Reverend Father in God, Paul 



SHANNOND ALE. 



137 



Peter Andrews, Bishop of this Diocess, and of 
our Reverend Mother, Catherine Wilmington, 
called in religion, Ignatia, Mother Superior of 
this Convent of our Lady of Mount Carmel, this 
28th day of October, in the year of our Lord, 
18." 

Then writing her name, and making the sign 
of the cross after it with the pen, she passed the 
deed to the Lady Superior, who knelt at her 
right '.and. 

The mo'it interestingthe most awful moment 
of the august ceremonial had now comethe 
moment when, having pledged herself to her di- 
vine spouse, she was to receive, in return, his 
pledge and earnest of mystical union ; that in- 
stant wa arrived, when the bishop, repeating 
the following words, administered to her the 



the shroud, the coffin, the pall, the grave, had 
swum in darkly between me and all I loved on 
earth. I do not know how I left the chapel. 



CHAPTER XL. 

THE SECRET CRIME CONTINUED. 

Ah ! wretch believed the spouse of God in vain, 
Confessed within the slave of love and man 

Pope. 

I was ill for a long time after that ceremony. 
When 1 recovered, the world had lost iis charms, 
if indeed it had ever possessed any for me. I 
resolved to follow the example of my sister. I 



Holy Eu.-harist " What God has commenced in i determined to enter the priesthood. I re entered 



thee, may He Himself perfect, and may our 
Lorrf Jesus Christ preserve thy soul unto life 
everlasting Amen." 

Turning from the grate, ard kneeling to the 
Lady Superior, Veronica received from her hand 
the consecrated ring, while the whole choir rang 
cut again in the Veni Spousa Christi;" 
Come, Spouse of Christ." Veronica then sang 
with solemn and touching effect" Suscipe me, 
Domine," three times, in honor of the Blessed 
Trinity. Then kneeling, she received the Black 
Vei-l from the bishop, who said, while placing it 
on her head 

Receive the holy veil, the emblem of chas- 
tity and modesty, which mayest thou carry be- 
fore the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
that thou mayest have eternal life. Amen." 

Then rising from her kneeg, and standing up, 
holding her lighted taper, the newly professed 
nun sa-ng the "Posuit Signum;" "He hag 
placed His seal upon my forehead," &c. Then 
followed the august rite of the bishop's benedic- 
tion from the altar responded to in every 
clause by the now kneeling nun. Then was 
chanted the Regnum Mundi," at the end of 
which Veronica prostrated herself, and while 
thu* lying metaphorically dead, the glorious 
*'- Te Dtum." arose from the whole Holy Brother- 
hood anrt Sisterhood, in full choir.* 
I s-aw no more. My head reeled. I felt that 

* NOTE. I have had repeated opportunities of 
seeinff ihe ceremony of taking the While Veil and 
the Black: Veil at the Convent of the Visitation, at 
Georgetown Nevertheless, for this authentic de- 
cripiioo, I am indebted to a rare volume, kindly 
loaned me for th;- purpose by a Roman Catholic 
clergyman I thought that the ceremony would be 
interest! g in most of my readers, as among eventhe 
ew wh-> hav- opportunities of witnessing the rices, 
here are fewer still who can get near enough the 
iltar to *ee, or are sufficiently familiar with the 
itua! to follow the rapid enunciation of the officiating 
jriesta and deacons in the services conducted in 
Latin. 



my college, and commenced a course of theolo- 
gical reading the same year. I became interest- 
ed in my studies strongly attracted to my 
chosen vocation. I grew to think that I was 
called to it. I think so still. I grew quiet 
then cheerful. In due course of time I was ap- 
pointed to this same ministry. Here I made 
many friends, found congenial pursuits, and was 
very happy in my calling, until one day, when I 
received a letter from the Reverend Lady Supe- 
rior of the Carmelite Convent, of which Veronica 
was professed sister. Imagine the overwhelming 
sorrow with which I learned that my sister had 
fled her convent, abjured her religion, and mar- 
ried ! Bowed to the earth with grief and humi- 
liation, without saying one word to any one as 
to the cause of my journey, I suddenly left this 
neighborhood and repaired to the convent, to 
learn there the particulars of the flight. All 
that the Abbess had written was confirmed, and 
more was told me. Veronica had fled, and the 
companion of her flight was a handsome, gay, 
and fascinating man, of high rank, and of irre- 
proachable reputation certainly whom, by the 
way, I had sometimes seen in my father's house, 
and who, the last year of our stay at home, 
when Veronica was about fifteen years of age, 
bf d paid the beautiful child rather marked atten- 
tion. How he found access to her again, how 
he contrived to wile her away, no one knew. 
They were ma-rried by special license at one of 
the Protestant Churches. He had forced the 
sisterhood to give up, or perhaps they had volun- 
tarily yielded the considerable property she had 
brought to the institution. I learned that he 
had taken her home to a small farm in one of th< 
lower counties of Maryland, that formed an item 
of her property, and where they were now living. 
I was deeply grieved, but this marriage was be- 
yond remedy, of course. I returned in deep 
mortification to my pastoral charge. I wrote 
many letters to my sister, exhorting her, with 
every argument and persuasion in my power, at 
least to return to the bosom of the mother 



138 



SHANNO NDALE. 



church. I wasted a great deal of controversial 
theology upon her, to little or no effect. I never 
received an answer ; I doubt whether she ever 
got my letters ; I have much reason to believe 
they were intercepted by her husband- Finally, 
in despair of ever receiving a response, I ceased 
to write to her. Years passed. And then, 
thinking that time might have brought some 
change favorable to a free communication be- 
tween us, I wrote to her again, but received no 
answer. A second time I ceased to importune 
her with letters. Several years elapsed, and 
then came a yearning of the heart for the com- 
panion of my childhood, that obliged me to set 
out on the long, rough, country journey, to visit 
her. I travelled on horseback, and it took me 
six days to reach the mouth of the Patuxent, 
where her farm lay. 1 arrived at nightfall, find- 
ing there the aged overseer, who had always 
farmed the land lor my father during his life- 
time. The old man. with his aged wife, now 
occupied the farm-house. He invited me into 
the large, old-fashioned parlor, where his w.f-- 
received me with much cordiality. He took my 
hat and gloves, laid them aside, gave me the 
easiest arm-chair in the cosiest corner of the 
ample fire-place, and set a little stand, with a 
pitcher of cider and a tumbler, by my si4e 
Then requesting his old wife to hurry supper, he 
drew the other great arm chair to the opposite 
corner of the chimney, and sitting down pre- 
pared to entertain me if I were inclined to con- 
versation. I lost no time in inquiring after my 
Bister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Joy. He 
gave me the following facts, which 1 shall, for 
convenience sake, put into my own words. 

When Frank Joy first brought his bride home 
he furnished the house with much taste and ele- 
gance, Her mother's and her father's old friends 
the moRt exclusive of the county aristocracy, 
flocked around them the story of her elope- 
ment from a convent had preceded them, but in 
that Protestant neighborhood, only made the 
beautiful bride more an object of interest and 
curiosity. Great attention was shown them, es- 
pecially as her family was one of the oldest and 
most extensively connected in the county. On 
their parts also, the rites of hospitality were 
munificently dispensed. A series of elegant 
little dinner parties, and very select petits wipers 
were t;iven by them. These were more recherche 
than the entertainments of the neighborhood 
usually were. They were greatly admired, as 
also were the accomplished host and beautiful 
hostess This was. or seemed, a vnry charming 
change to U>e simple recluse, who now found 
herself a great lady (on a small scale), the cen- 
tre of an admiring cir.-le of friends. 

A 'severe winter a -vanced upon them, how- 
ever; the snow was two feet deep on the ground, 
the waters of the bay near the shore were crust- 
ed, the river was closed, the free interchange of 



visits in the neighborhood was interrupted ; la- 
dies certainly could not get out in that severe 
weather; their visiting was embargoed. Not 
so the hospitalities of the Coast House. A suc- 
cession of select and elegan*. oyster suppers and 
champagne parties, for gentlemen only, replaced 
the former entertainments. From these, of 
course, Veronica was absent; but Frank Joy, 
with all his elegant accomplishments and grace- 
ful fascinations, was there in power and so 

those select suppers attracted the elite of 

county. Veronica was certainly very much 
alone at this time, and would have felt very 
lonely doubtless, but that her husband loved her 
sincerely, earnestly, passionately, and that con- 
soled her fully for the loss of all other society. 

An event soon occurred, however, that seri- 
ously interrupted her happiness. 

One night when she had retired to bed at an 
unusually late hour, leaving her husband at sup- 
per with his friends, she fell into a sweet, deep 
sleep, from which she was suddenly aroused by 
loud and angry words in high contention. T* 
excited tones came from the supper-room. Sh 
started in terror from her bed. The chambei 
clock struck three. She listened. The voice* 
grew sharp and fierce in conflict And "Cheat ! 
"Swindler!" "GAMBLER !!" were the terms 
reproach she heard scornfully coupled with h< 
husband's name. She did not hear his voice 
denial smooth, graceful, slippery, and fascin? 
ting as a serpent he seemed. She heard hi 
melodious tones without catching the words. 

But a flah of light had fallen on her life, 
revealed many, many obscurities she had not 
been able to understand before. Meanwhile tl 
oigh, arrogant, and overbearing von-e wa-s It 
in its epithets of "Gambler! blackleg! SHARPFR!' 
insultingly bestowed upon her handsome and a< 
complished her beloved Frank I Dressing hei 
self quickly, she descended to the supper-room, 
threw open the door, and stood pale and trem- 
bling within. The voice that had been high, 
sharp and fierce in angry and scornful invective* 
a moment before, now instint.Jy ceased. With 
that chivalric nay, with that almost religious 
homage which Maryland men, even u. moment! 
of high excitement or intoxication, pay to wo- 
men they all became quiet arid ge>>Tl*manly 
soon as Veronica made her momentary appear- 
ance among them. Only her Fra-te moved t< 
wards her in his graceful manner, and looking in 
her face with a lancinating blending of tender- 
ness with command, dre*? her arm within his 
own, and with gentle force, conducted her frorr 
the room back into their own chamber. 

" Remain here. I will return and explain soon 
soon as 1 set these infernal fellows I mean 
gentlemen, away," afld he left her. 

An ins*nt after she heard his sweet, melodious 
voice, defending: himself with persuasive but 
ignoble eloquence. She had been religiously 



feHANNOND ALE. 



brought up educated in a spirit of love, charity 
and forgiveness yet ! if these charges were false 
she would have had her Frank rather thrust them 
down the throat of the charger, than plead his 
defence in this sweet, melodious tone ! and if 
true! but he loved her dearly, she knew it, she 
would ask him ! No ! she could not do that 
either! A*k him! that would be to insult him; 
should she insult him also she! just after he bad 
been subjected to so much contumely no ! no ! 
no ! never ! 

Presently she heard the company disperse 
quietly his eloquence, or their consideration 
for herself, or both had prevailed. Frank trip- 
ped lightly up the stairs entered laughing, 
laughing gayly. Oh! how she wished he haH 
not laughed. Whether true or false the charges 
that laugh was too ignoble then ! He crossed 
the chamber threw himself gayly and grace- 
fully into a chair, and drew her to his bosom. 

< My pet ! my soft, my delicate, my trembling 
little pet! So they woke you up with their 
noise, and terrified you with their violence." 

Nothing could be more f-oothing, more affec- 
tionate than his manner. She replied, 

" Well, never mind now. Jt is all over, dear ! 
And you are very good, instead of getting an- 
gry as some men would, because I came in upon 
you then only to feel sympathy with my wo- 
manish tremors. 1 am not given to such trem- 
bling, however ; I never was !" 

"My darling ! I have so much sympathy for 
these womanish tremors, that if they ever 
alarm them again, the brutes ! they shall never 
come here again! that is all!" 

" Never come here again !' I hope some of 
them will never dare ! Oh ! Franky, keep your 
forbearance, your tenderness, for your little 
spo-i-led wife not for them ! resent ! punish such 
insult, as you forgave to-day !" 

"'Resent! punish!' is that the advice given 
by my little nun?" he asked, gently caressing 
h*r. 

Indeed it is, Franky! I can bear offence my- 
self, but I c^n't endure to see you bear it ! I 
ean-not, indeed, Franky ! Oh, ! please stretch that 
man at your feet, with the poker, the very next 
time ho calls you such names! do, Franky! it is 
/, your timorous little wife, who loves you, too, 
that asks you to do it, because I can not live to 
see you bear insult!" 

" Woat! knock down General Hector Mount- 
leopard ! a man four times my weight, and twice 
my ase, d.er ?" 

" Ife* ! if age don't bring respectability, 1 do 
not see why it &hou ; d be respected /" 

" Ah ! but suppose in knocking him down with 
the poker, I kill him, and am hanged for it ? how 
then?'' atkrid Frank Joy, with a charming 
arc^ress. 

Oh ! I never thought of that ! f cever once 
thought of that ' 1 only thought of the insult 



139 

deserving punishment! I only ihought of en. 
forcing a respect to my Franky'a dignity " 

"Yes, you impulsive little creature! It is 
your charming red hair, that makes you so fiery- 
tempered ! For it is red, you little vixen ! Gol- 
den, your admirers call it! Yes, but it is red- 
gold! Kiss me, darling! and forget all the 
rude brutes that have disgraced themselves and 
terrified you, this evening!" 

She was soothed, not satisfied. All the next 
week there were no suppers. At the end of the 
week, a handsome set of jewels arrived from 
Baltimore for Veronica. It was with a gay af- 
fectionate smile that Frank displayed them be- 
fore her. Veronica had, just at this time, an al- 
most childish passion for dress; this was, of 
course, the greater for its novelty ; the re-action 
of her re-nunciatory enthusiasm at the convent. 
" The greater the sinner, the greater the saint," 
is a familiar proverb. The converse of that ap- 
peared to be true in Veronica's case. For a time, 
amused by her baubles, she almost ceased to 
think of the incident that had troubled her so 
much at the supper. 

A dinner-party was given, at which, among 
other guests, appeared General Hector Mount- 
leopard; but notwithstanding Frank's warning 
to her, and his gay and smiling request to her, 
to be courteous to all his guests, Veronica met 
the General with a freezing hauteur, that with 
all his arrogance, seriously discomposed that geoi- 
tleman's self-possession. At the end of the din- 
ner, Frank looked grave and displeased, for the 
first time in their married life; and Veronica 
was unhappy. For what purpose could Frank 
be so servile to an arrogant and purse proud 
man, who had grossly insulted him ? And why 
should a man like General Hector Mountleopard, 
appear again at the table of a host whom he had 
degraded with such epithets as < Sharper Black- 
leg ?' But the latter question was more easily 
answered. Few, indeed, could resist the fasci- 
nations of Frank Joy's sunshiny temper and 
sparkling wit ; and that singular look of candor 
in his broad white open brow with its cluster- 
ing black curls ! (Look at Harry's, it is the same 
brow !) 

Weeks passed, and still the handsome, gay 
and alluring man, drew constantly around him 
the gentry of the neighborhood. Veronica had a 
great concentrativeness of mind. Any impor- 
tant idea that once seized her possessed, ab- 
sorbed her. Little things were constantly oc- 
curring to feed and keep alive the suspicion ex- 
cited by the quarrel at supper As Winter ad- 
vanced towards Spring, she could but observe 
that the county ladies neglected her. Proud 
and shy she kept at home. Her husband was 
amassing large sums of money, she knew by 
what means, she did not know. The warm, af- 
fectionate, confiding intercourse, that had hith- 
erto existed between them f was cooling off. If 



140 



SHANNONDALE. 



was not she felt it from any declension of love 
n either side ! it was because some wrong thing 
had come between them. 

O.ie day Frank Joy had a large dinner-party. 
The company sat late over their wine ; and then 
kept up their revels all night. Veronica did not 
sleep at all. The noise assisted her mental 
anxiety, and kept her awake. At dawn of day, 
the wild, disorderly company broke up. Frank 
Joy came, gay, laughing, roystering, but sober, 
up the stairs. Stopped Veronica's questionings 
wit-, a kiss and began to pack his portmantua 
for a journey. 

Why, where are you going, Franky V 

" To Baltimore, on sudden business," he an- 
wered; and the next hour he embarked in a 
packet that passed, and was off sure enough. 
She afterwards discovered that the "sudden 
business" was the deposit of a large sum of 
money in bank, which he did not deem it safe to 
keep about the house. In the course of that day 
a carriage rolled into the yard. A venerable 
lady, clothed in black, descended from it, and 
leaning on the arm of a young fragile girl, tot- 
tered feebly towards the house. 

Veronica, from the windows of her sitting- 
room, recognized Mrs. Martha Downs and her 
giand-daughter Mrs. Mountleopard, the youth- 
ful wife of General Mountleopard. This was 
the first visit Veronica had received ior many 
months ; and it took her rather by surprise. She 
threw a large thin shawl about her shoulders, and 
went down to meet them. They were already 
in the parlor. There was a gravity upon the 
face of the old lady, a distress upon that of the 
young one, that startled Veronica w.ith a vague 
presentiment. She went up to them and wel- 
comed them, courteously offering her hand. The 
old lady gravely withdrew hers, and immediate- 
ly opened the subject of her visit. She spoke in 
severe terms of their (Frank and Veronica's) 
having allured her son-in-law to their house led 
him into intoxication and gambling, and won 
large sums of money from him ; of his having, 
the preceding night, been made drunk, and 
swindled out of an immense amount of money. 
Shocked and indignant, Veronica's red, " golden 
red" hair, fairly bristled with scorn and anger. 
And she said it was not to be supposed that she 
knew anything about her husband's amusements 
among his gentlemen guests but that it was 
very absurd to hint, far less to say that he, who 
was almost a boy in years and in thoughtless- 
ness, should be able to tempt a veteran sinner 
like General Mountleopard. 

" Ah ' you think we don't know ! You think 
we are deceived by your affectation of youthful 
simplicity! But we know all the neighbor- 
hood knows that you two are in league I that 
your husband is as great a rogue as you are ! 
that with your youth, beauty, wit, fascinations, 
you charm all the youog, and delude all the old 



of the neighborhood, to their destruction ! All 
the county know that you keep a gambling- 
house ! and the authorities are already advised 
of that circumstance. And 1 come to counsel 
you to re-fund, and save yourselves from the 
vengeance of the law, and my unfortunate son- 
in-law from utter ruin !" 

Language can ill describe the mixed and blen- 
ded emotions of scorn, anger, suspicion, and 
shame, that raged in the high spirited woman's 
bosom. She grew white. She arose from her 
chair, tottered to the corner of the chimney-piece 
and pulled the bell rope. A servant entered. 

"Show these women out," she said, with cold 
and ashen lips, and trembling, left the room. 

That night Veronica was prematurely confined 
of a dead infant. A fortnight after, when Frank 
Joy returned, he found her still dangerously ill. 

She recovered. 

But neither the loss of their child nor the ex- 
treme illness of Veronica, arrested the down- 
ward course of the infatuated gambler. If it 
were a fact that he drew men to their ruin with 
an irresistible fascination it was also a fatal 
truth, that he himself was the charmed victim 
of a passion, a fiend who was his tyrant. 

I described Veronica as possessing a high 
spirit and an ardent temperament, great concen- 
tration of mind, and intensity of feeling. It was 
in vain now, that Frank Joy sought, by his 
charming caresses and sparkling sallies of wit, 
to beguile her thoughts and feelings from dwel- 
ling on the disgraceful facts recently confirmed 
to her. Perhaps no one, n^t even her husband 
ah ! least of all he no one but myself, her com- 
panion from the cradle, could estimate the vio- 
lence of the mortal struggle that now convulsed 
her soul the struggle between her passionate at- 
tachment to her husband, and the high uncompro- 
mising sense of honor that urged her to oppose, 
to the death, all that was evil in his character 
and conduct. 

He had been to her a sort of oracle an em- 
bodiment of her high ideal of moral and intel- 
lectual excellence. It was because he had looked 
upon her monastic vow as a superstitious act, 
that she had been led to view it in the same 
light. That was the infatuation of passion. 
But now she discovered, with what extreme 
anguish of soul, few who did not know her would 
understand that her beautiful, her accomplish- 
ed, her most excellent one, for whom in her fond 
and blind idolatry she had abandoned her con- 
vent and her religion whom in her madness she 
had suffered to take the place of all intermediate 
between her soul and God was what ? Gam- 
bler, cheat, COWARD I She never even in her 
thought*, degraded him with these names yet 
this was what she gradually felt him to be 
aye, even as she would feel the approach of 
death, for it hilled her ! But I am anticipating. 
As she recovered temporarily from her illness 



SHANNONDALE. 



141 



the orgies at Coast House were revived in ten- 
fold energy. She utterly, and to the death, as I 
said, opposed them. Had she not loved Frank 
so truly taken his faults to heart so bitterly 
suffered vicmonsly, one might say, all the bit- 
ter remorse and humiliation he should have suf- 
fered; had she been content, as some women are 
comfortably to take all the good her husband 
could bring her, and quietly to wash her hands 
of ail the evil through which it came then she 
might have been happy in this world might at 
least have been free from personal inconvenience 
personal violence ; for Frank loved her if he 
loved anything. Perhaps she did not go the right 
way to work, to reclaim him. Perhaps she could 
not have reclaimed him at all. At all events, 
when once assured of his vice when once all 
barriers of esteem and delicacy were thrown 
down between them, she bitterly upbraided him ; 
sternly and stubbornly setting her face against 
his proceedings. Frank's good humor was great, 
but not invincible. This opposition from her, at 
last aroused his anger and many quarrels oc- 
cured between them. Veronica was no patient 
and resigned victim ; neither was she a weeping 
and wailing one. No ! the same fire of tempe- 
rament, that burned with such intense devotion 
when fed by religion blazed fiercely now when 
blown by a righteous anger for it was righteous 
in itself, only evil in its excess. Often when he 
would be holding his revels below, she would 
suddenly appear amidst them with her red hair 
flashing, and her eyes blazing with indignation, 
and by the mere power of her moral force, 
however injudiciously exerted, disperse the revel- 
lers; but oh! these scenes would be followed 
by others of great, of/ revolting violence, when 
once the guests had departed, and they were 
alone together and the beautiful, fascinating 
and debonair gentlemen, would be transformed 
into a perfect demon of vengeance and cruelty ! 
Professed nun as she had been, she was na- 
turally neither saint nor angel only a beauti- 
ful, high-spirited, woman; she therefore took 
no sort of ill -treatment patiently; but, alas! her 
fragile form did not second her high spirit, and 
she suffered frightfully at these times! She 
might have evaded all this, by leaving him ; but 
she would not do that. Like almost any other 
unperverted woman, she felt that any sort of a 
life with her husband, was better than any sort 
of a life withow* him, (only she was determined 
not to second, but to oppose hia evil doings ;) and 
so thought Frank by his wife, and fiercely as 
they quarrelled, he would have done anything 
on earth, except give up the gaming-table, before 
he would have let her go. 

So passed the year. 

The first of the next January having, locust- 
like, stripped the neighborhood as nearly as he 
could do it, Frank Joy left the Coast House un- 
der the care of the overseer, and left the State. 



His departure was as sudden as a flight. 

* * 



What I have now told you was partly gather- 
ed from the lips of the overseer, and afterwards 
from those of others some details long after- 
wards from my sister. 1 inquired where they 
had gone. The overseer informed me th*t they 
had no stationary home, but that now their Post- 
Office, when last heard from, was New Orleans. 
1 wrote to my sister that night, and mailed the 
letter the next morning, at the first post-town I 
passed on my return home. I bitterly reproach- 
ed myself for not having visited her neighbor- 
hood before, though then two hundred miles 
through the almost unbroken wilderness between 
these settlements and the settlements in the 
lower part of Maryland, was a very perilous jour- 
ney to undertake. I received no answer from 
my sister. The old overseer died the next year 
I heard it long after, by a mere chance and the 
old Coast House was shut up. Several years 
passed, and still I heard no tidings of Veronica. 
I grew to think she was dead. I became ex- 
tremely interested in my parish; formed a strong 
and lasting friendship for several of my parish- 
ioners, among whom were then old Mrs. Darling, 
in the very noon of her life and beauty, and Co- 
lonel Summerfield, who afterwards married Miss 
Darling, and became the father of Imogene. The 
two families of Red- Stone Hall and Oak Grove 
gradually took the place of my blood relations in 
my heart. They were as dear to me as mother 
and father, sisters, brothers and children ; and 
they repaid my love an hundred fold ; I was to 
them as a son a brother or a father. Many 
years passed away, during which I heard nothing 
of my sister. Many changes had taken p'ace in 
my secluded parish. The children I had christ- 
ened when I first entered upon my clerical du- 
ties were now grown up, some of them married, 
but these were girls who had married young 
and mothers whom I had christened were now 
bringing their infants to the baptismal font. My 
sister semed forgotten. Her name had long since 
ceased to be mentioned. Her mysterious dis- 
appearance with her husband had become an ob- 
solete "tale of old times," and 1 had grown to 
think of her only as a brilliant and transient 
light a meteor that had flashed upon my early 
path of life, and disappeared forever as a fierce 
young spirit early perjured early rebellious 
quickly fallen, and quickly called to her dread 
account ; or, I thought of her distant, unknown 
grave, where her bones had long since moulder- 
ed into dust ; when, one day, I received sudden 
news of her that great God ! that suddenly ! 
unexpectedly ! blindly I fatally ! led me in- 
to the perpetration of that crime, the contempla- 
tion of which turned my hair snow white at for- 
ty-seven the memory of which has darkened 
all my days with remorse alarmed all my nights 
with terror ! 



142 



SHANNONDALE. 



CHAPTER XLl. 



THE SECRET CRIME CONTINUED. 

Aye ! He \v t -n and eanh do cry u Impossible !" 
The shuddering angels 'round the eternal throne, 
Veili-g themselves in glory, shriek ' Impossible!" 
But hell doih know it true. 

Maturings Bertram, 

Many times during the recital of this story the 
old mat bad paused and rested. Now he stopped 
to take som*- refreshment, and then strengthened 
and calmed by the composing manner of his 
young attendant, went on with his story. 

There is nothing that strikes me with more 
force than the often utter unconsciousness of a 
great criminal before the crime, of the terrible 
precipice of guilt upon which he stands. " Is 
thy servant a dog that he should do this thing ?" 
was the honest and indignant question of the 
aelf-ignorant Hazael. to the wise, far-seeing 
prophet. Even so honest would have been the 
ind g riant repudiation echoed from the very heart 
of many a criminal, if foretold his crime a week, 
a day, an hour, before its perpetration ! Sudden, 
unexpected, almost irresistible temptation falls 
upon an unprepared soul; passions aroused to 
almost maniac fury nearly or quite overwhelm 
reason and self-control ; such is the history of 
most crime. He who was free from crime as 
the greater portion of his fellow beings when he 
lost his self-possession, finds himself a criminal 
at whose deeds a world shudders when he comes 
" to himself," and ah ! there is nothing on earth 
or in hell so wretched <as his remorse. The les- 
son should teach us this: great pity for the 
criminal ; strict watchfulness over our own dan- 
gerous passion*. 

I was one day reading in my small study a 
rare old illuminated volume of the fourteenth 
century, that Mrs. Summerfield, during her then 
late bridal tour, had picked up at New York, and 
just presented to me ; my feet were on the hob, 
for it was a chilly day in September, just making 
a fire comfortable. / was extremely comforta- 
ble in mind and body little dreaming that I was 
then enjoying my very last hour of earthly ease 
that in twenty minutes more the first of a 
series of events should occur that should deprive 
all my future of peace. Had any one in that 
nour of easy enjoyment foretold a sudden ca- 
lamity of which I should be the victim ; a fire 
that should consume me ; a fall from a horse, or 
a carriage that should kill me ; a sudden illness 
that should carry me off ; I should not have been 
scornfttlly incredulous at least ; for such things 
happen in some part of the world every week 
but ! had any prophet or angel foretold a sud. 
den crime of which 7 should be the perpetrator 
I should have felt like repulsing the prophecy in 
the indignant language of Hazael. " Is thy ser- 
vant a DOG that he should do this thing ?" Well, 



to go on I was sitting in ease and comparative 
innocence, when Mattie carna smiling inshe 
was a woman of early mid-age then and laid 
upon my reading-desk a letter. 1 took it up 
carelessly. I had no correspondents of much 
interest. I started slightly, however, wnen 1 
noticed the post-mark Green Mills the super- 
scription was in a strange nand to me. 1 broke 
the seal and merely read 

COAST HOUSE, near Green Mills, September. 
My Only Brother - If possibly you are yet in 
the land of the living, and yet resident at Sacred 
Heart, where 1 shall direct this letter, hasten im- 
mediately to 

Your only sister in extremity, 

VERONICA. 

I rode like lightning to Squire Darling's. I 
borrowed the swiftest horse in his stables, and 
that same night set out for Maryland I rode as 
for life. Oh, no one knows or could ever know 
how 1 loved that long lost twin sister of mint 
my only love from infancy to age. I hurried on 
half delirious with joy, expectancy, and fear! 
" Extremity !" what extremity ? Extreme ill- 
nes* death? Should she be dead when 1 should 
reach Coast House ? I shuddered and hastened 
faster on perhaps it was only extreme poverty ! 
That indeed might have been reasonably pre- 
dicted from the wild improvident course of their 
lives. Ah ! if poverty were the extremity, how 
easy to spare from my own provision enough to 
sustain her slender wants or, had she children? 
A hundred thoughts, anxieties, anticipations 
rushed through my mind as day and night I hur- 
ried on still blaming myself for an unchristian 
loss of self-possession. 

1 had nearly killed Squire Darling's valuable 
" blood" by the time I reached Green Mills. 1 
left him exhausted at the inn and haste&ed on, on 
foot, to Coast House. I knew something of the 
present condition of the old homestead from 
hearsay the house nearly ruined and standing 
alone in an acre or so of thistle and weed cover- 
ed land the farm sold and annexed to surround- 
ing large plantations a few squalid huts in 
which vegetated a few wretched old negroeSj 
past service, who were suffered to keep a foot- 
hold on their native soil, and gain a meagre living 
by trapping small game, fishing, wool picking, 
knitting coarse stockings, etc. 

That evening ! What an evening it was ! It 
was growing dark, and an army of storm clouds 
were mustering in the North- West as I approach- 
ed Coast House. I heard the dull booming of 
the bay against the cliffs like the opening of a 
cannonading. The naked house loomed large 
and black through the dusky night. I clambered 
over the broken heaps of stones that had Jong 
ago formed the wall, and with a heavy, heavy 
sinking of the heart, went up to the gre&t door 
of the formidable looking black front. 1 rapped, 
and my rap echoed mourniully hollowly thiouj 



SHANNONDALE. 







the vacant and deserted halls. All was dark and 
silent and in the stillness I heard the muttering 
of the coming storm and the booming of the bay. 
I rapped again feeling faint with vague terror 
again the cannonading of the bay against the cliff 
was the only sound that feariully broke the si- 
lence. I turned the handle of the lock and 
pushed the door open it fell with a heavy, loud 
clang that aroused all the roaring echoes of the 
cavernoui old house. I felt ashamed of the 
nervousness that shook me like an ague as I 
passed on over the fallen door, and opening a 
side door on the right, went into the room that had 
been the family sitting-room of old. As 1 en- 
tered, the lurid light of a smouldering fire in the 
ample fire-place, revealed the form of an infirm 
woman who had risen from her seat, still holding j 
on the arm of the chair, supporting her frail form. 

* Did you not hear me knock ?" asked 1. 

* Hear you knock no ! how should 1 hear you 
knock, amid the noises of this place? I hear 
on ly the wind roaring through the house win- 
dow-iismes shaking, sashes rattling, shutters 
sometimes falling off ! A door fell just now! but 
what do you want? he is not here if-you are one 
01 tnem" 

" I want I want is Mrs. , do you 

know whether any of the family of the proprie- 
tor is about ?" 

The woman was looking at me wistfully 
searchingly then sinking back in her chair, she 
exclaimed, almost inaudibly, 

' My God! my brother." 

"Veronica! oh, no! no! this is not my sis- 
ter !" 

1 knelt down before her, took her hands, and 
gazed intently into her face I could read there 
not one single look of my sister ! the features 
were different, the expression was different. 
Could this old and haggard woman possibly be 
Veronica? I was pierced through with a real 
ard painful doubt as kneeling 1 held her hands 
and gazed in'o her face. 

" Am I go very much changed, then ?" she 
asked. 

" Changed ! You are revolutionized you are 
exchanged if indeed you ever were my sister! 
Ob ! Veronica, ! Veronica ! my sister ! my sister /" 

i dropped my head weeping upon her lap, and 
her head fell upon mine, and her arms entwined 
me. When this was over, I arose and sat by her 
side. 

" Have you eat any supper ?""she asked. 

" No, Veronica, nor have I any appetite to eat." 

" Yet you must do so," she said, and going to 
the old corner cupboard, she took out a little 
tea-kettle and filling with water from a bucket 
on a bench, she hung it over the fire and threw 
oj more chips from a pile near at hand. It seem- 
ed indeed as if the sitting-room of the ruinoua 
old dwelling served as parlor, kitchen, scullery, 
wood-shed, and for every other purpose. 



"Veronica, since you will have supper pre- 
pared, let me prepare it ! Heavens ! how feeble 
you seem," said I, ashamed DOW that 1 had let 
her lift her hand to serve me. 

Ah ! 1 am accustomed to these things ! 1 
have cooked for Frank a long time," she said, 
drawing out a little table and setting some miss- 
matched crockery ware upon it; after which she 
dropped trembling and fainting into the chair, 
and 1 saw with grief how much the little effort 
had fatigued and exhausted her< 

" Ah, Veronica, of all our peoole i* there none 
left to wait on you ?" 

She smiled. 

"Christie takes care of my little house-keep- 
ing, but Christie goes to her quarter at night. 
Besides, this evening 1 want you to myself." 

She got up and made the tea ; put a corn john- 
ny cake and a piece of cold roast rabbit on the 
table, and invited me to sit down. I did so to 
please her, forcing an appetite \ did not feel. 

" To-morrow if you stay with me you shall 
have some oysters," she said "old Tom is 
going down to the oyster-banks to get some. 
You never get them where you live up there in 
the Virginia mountains they will be a welcome 
old rarity to you." 

Oh, it hurt me so to hear her talking of small 
paltry comforts for me, while she herself seemed 
to try to conceal some great grief that yet her 
heart-broken look still betrayed. 

" My poor sister, I thank you. But do not 
trouble yourself about my eating it is giving 
undue importance to a trifle. I shall do well 
enough. I am neither invalid nor epicurean." 

"Ah! well! perhaps I do give < undue im- 
portance* to the subject but then it is habit. 1 
have been caterer and cook for an epicurean all 
my life nearly." 

This was the second time Veronica alluded to 
this fact. After supper I would not permit her 
to wash up the dishes, but pushed the table back 
myself and drew our chairs to the fire, which I 
mended and made to blaze brightly, and sat 
down. I looked inquiringly into Veronica's face. 
Up to this time I had not asked her a question of 
her life, nor did I intend to trouble her with one, 
but resolved to wait until she should voluntarily 
confide in me. I did not even know whether 
her husband was living or dead; whether, if 
living, he were with her; whether they had any 
children ; or indeed any other fact of her late 
married life. She replied to my look of interest 
by saying, 

" I wrote to you, my brother, under a sure 
conviction of approaching death, in order to con- 
fide to your care one charge the child of my 
old age !" 

"Your old age, my sister my twin sister! 
why, I am in the prime of life, and the few silver 
threads mingling with my black hair were 



144 



SH A.NNONDALE 



whitened by trouble, not time trouble for you, 
Veroni-a!" 

"I am sorry for that. Yes! my old age- Some 
tnater>al~ wear out sooner than others, and *ome 
have harder usage than others. 1 was of ma- 
terial qu ckly worn oat, and of a spirit <;hat 
quickly consumes such; besides I had truch 
usage, and bad usage. I have led a wiid, said 
life since 1 saw you last- I am aged at torty- 
two." 

" Ah, Veronica ! my sister ! my sweet sister ! 
1 know it ! I have heard something of your fuflVr- 
ings before you left the tnble. Oh! the wrtt'Ji!" 

" Hush I Let no idle words be spoken, J sent 
for you to give into your charge my last gift 
a legacy the child of my old age, as I said 
whose advent I am daily expecting whose bitth 
1 can never survive. I am too old, too broken. 
I have suffered too greatly and for too long a 
time. I have been the mother of children already, 
and never possessed two living at the same time. 
I have seen them perish one by one from expo- 
sure to the inclemency of the weather in cold 
climes ; from the baleful miasma of hot un- 
healthy countries ; from want, fatigue, ill usage, 
from which I had not always the power to shield 
them, or neglect which could not always be 
avoided. Their very graves lie far apart " 

Have you led such a widely roving life, 
then, Veronica ?" 

"Listen!" she said, nnd then she gave me the 
following account. I will not repeat what I have 
already told you, namely, that which I learned 
from the old overseer; but continue her story 
from the point at which he left it ; or, rather, 
from an event that occurred a few days before 
they left the State, and I will tell you in her 
own words : 

Things had gone on in this way, after the 
loss of our first child, from bad to worse, until 
one day when I was sitting in my chamber alone, 
he suddenly ran into the house and up the stairs, 
and, breathless, said 

Veronica ! prepare instantly to set out with 
me from here !" 

"In the name of Heaven, what do you 
mean ?" exclaimed I, terrified at his blanched 
countenance and trembling frame. 

I have no time for explanations f none ! my 
liberty ! my life ! depend upon my instant flight, 
but I will not leave you ! Be ready ; we must 
take the packet that passes here in fifteen mi- 
nutes!" 

All the time he *poke, he was wildly empty- 
ing a wardrobe of its miscellaneous contents, 
and rapidly packing them into a trunk, while 
with the speed of fear, he locked and strapped 
it down, and hastily calling two men, dispatched 
them with it to the beach. 

"Fire and flames! why do you stand gazing 
there ?" he angrily asked of me. 



and cloak, and he drawing me after him, hurried 
down and out of the house, and fled to the 
beach- There, while waiting the passage of the 
packet, his agitation defies all description His 
furtive glances thrown out over the country ; his 
sudden pallor when the sound of horses' feet 
were heard upon the distant road, all betrayed 
the extreme terror of a criminal in mortal fear 
of pursuit and arrest. The packet passed at 
length, stopped, put out a boat, took us on 
board, and in an hour from the time of my sit- 
ting quietly in my chamber, I found myself un- 
expectedly on board of a schooner flyhvg be- 
tween Baltimore and Norfolk- W> reached the 
latter city lite in the night. A vessel was to 
sail for Charleston, South Carolina, with the first 
morning tide. We embarked on board of her, 
and in due time reached that city. There I 
thought we might have rested and breathed 
Not so. He inquired for a vessel for New Or- 
leans. One was to sail in a few days, and it w? 
with the greatest restlessness and the utmost 
trepidation that he awaited the time of sailing. 
He changed his name, dyed his hair, and kept 
quiet. The day came, we sailed. We reached 
the city of New Orleans We put up at fashion- 
able hotel. The first thing I saw on the parlor 
table was the daily paper ; the first paragraph 
that met my eye was the advertisement of a re- 
ward of five hundred dollars offered for the ap- 
prehension of a forger to the amount of twenty 
thousand dollars, and the name of trmt forger 
was Francis Joy, of Coast House, Gr^en Mills, 
Maryland ! 1 was not given to faintiE-g, scream- 
ing, weeping, paleness, or any other interesting 
feminine tremors. I thirik that grief, fea., ynor- 
tification every feeling was lost in a storm of 
unutterable scorn and anger. He just then hur- 
ried into the room, and met my eyes flashing 
with a consuming wrath, no doubt, for 1 felt 
them so ! and for I never was either a weak 
or a meek woman! brother, we should h-ave 
had a terrible scene, without any sort of doubt, 
but that he, who had seen the adveniserc-ent, 
fearing to trust too much to his disguise and 
change of name, had come in to hasten our de- 
parture. We went to the city of Mexico. Ho 
had a very large amount of money with him I 
think that before he fled, he had taken time to 
draw all his money from the various banks ia 
which it had been from time to time temporarily 
deposited. I think also that he had placed the 
arrangement of his business in the hands of ona 
of his comrades, who remained behind, and who 
also cheated him, in refutation o.f the adage that 
tells us there is " honor among thieves." The 
forgery you heard of it, my brother 1" 

Never nor is it strange that I should not. 
Few papers reach our secluded neighborhood, 
and those few are weeklies 5 from which all un- 
necessary matter is expunged ; besides, I was 



A.S one in a bewildered droam, I put on bonnet indebted for my reading of newspapers to Squire 



S H A N N O IS D A L E 



145 



Darling and to Colonel Summerfield, and it is 
is likely that had the advertisement, or any 
notice of that forgery appeared in our papers, 
they would have carefully withheld them, and 
concealed it from me. You must know, also, 
that though 1 constantly thought of you, dear 
Veronica, I never spoke of you. As for the 
forgery, things of that sort follow each other 
with such lamentable rapidity, that a new in- 
stance quickly supplants an old one in public 
thought." 

" Yes, that is so," my sister said, and then 
continued 

We lived in Mexico two or three years. He 
had a very large sum of money, as I said, and 
made a great deal more 5 and so we lived in 
tyle. He spoke Spanish like a native, and had 
lost none of his fascinations. I saw victim after 
victim ensnared and lost* I never ceased to ex- 
postulate with him, and where another and a 
gentler woman would have wept, I upbraided ! 
It was my nature to quarrel rather than to cry ! 
And he would, sometimes, when I had in nay 
utter scorn of his courses said something to hisn 
almost too plain and bitter ever to be forgiven, 
gaily attribute it to my " red hair," and laugh- 
ingly caress me. Ah ! it was because he was 
such a splendid fellow, ruined, that in spite of 
his gigantic faults, I loved him so passi6nately ! 
quarrelled with him so fiercely! and would have 
reformed him violently ! since it was not in me 
to do it gently. Ah, yes ! he was a magnificent 
ailure ! a splendid ruin ! He had no faults to- 
wards me^ He had no infidelity towards me in 
11 our married life, he was faithful to me in 
lought as in deed. I know and feel it ! Not- 
withstanding all our fierce contentions, he loved 
through all ! He loves me still ! Gray-hair- 
d, haggard as 1 am, while ke, though older, re- 
aios all his pristine strength and beauty he 
>ves me still ! Though at last 1 have abandon- 
d him, he loves me still! He will love me 
ver ! he will come here to seek me ! He had 
magnanimity toward me ! When we have quar- 
elled violently, and I, in the very frenzy of 
inger at seeing one I loved so well, acting t .so 
wrongly, have said words no other man OH 
irth could have forgotten or forgiven, he has 
reely forgiven them, laying them all upon the 
cape-goat the red hair !" 
"And did these contests always end so 
uietly?" I asked, recollecting what the old 
verseer had told me of "personal violence" 
ren before they left Maryland. "Did these 
ffrays always end so quietly ?" 
Her pale face flushed over. 
Alas, no ! How could it be so ? Generally, 
ideed, my bitterest reproaches were met with 
caress, or, at worst, with a jest, and his worst 
r ord in rejoinder would be, <Red Hair;' but 
lere were times, when under the influence of 
riae, he would cruelly abuse me. These in- 
13 



stances were rare, ana followed by a bitterness 
of regret and self-reproach on his part, that I 
never knew him to feel for any other act. He ever 
seemed to think that he could never do enough 
to convince me of his sorrow ; he would tell me 
what, indeed, I knew from my experience of 
him, that intoxication generally metamorphosed 
a person ; totally reversing, for the time being, 
their natural disposition ; making the naturally 
ill-tempered good-humored and gentle, and exci- 
ting the good-natured and cheerful to irritability 
and anger. I could easily forgive him all his 
abuse of me. It was, at worst, only a piece of 
savage human nature to strike when angry. 
Alas, there are more disgraceful things than 
that in civilization, and for those things, I con- 
tinued to disagree with him. In this way we 
led a wretched life, certainty, though we were 
too strongly attached to each other to separate. 
He took me with him, opposing his manner of 
life all the time, in all his tramps through the 
country, and I, in spite of every inconvenience, 
was very willing to go. I think when people 
quarrel and part, there is certainly no love at 
bottom. We quarrelled like two very bad chil- 
dren or two tigers, loving each other dearly be- 
tween the times. Yes, positively, we quarrelled 
until not our love, but the meaning of words was 
worn out with constant use, and the abuse meant 
nothing. We stayed in Mexico several years 
in the city of Mexico two or three years. YOH 
and others will thmk we were very wrong to 
contend BO Our quarrels, at least, were of 
my getting up. I could not patiently see him 
go on as he did, even though I should reap the 
benefit ; neither could I leave him upon any ac- 
count. Twice I was arrested with him when 
we were both indicted for keeping a gambling 
house. I, of course, had nothing to do with it, 
unless my constant and unremitting opposition 
was " aiding and abetting" the unlawful enter- 
prise ; yet I was positively better contented 
when equally sharing all his bad luck- We 
were compelled to leave Mexico. We dared not 
yet return to the United States we went to Ha- 
vana. We spent several years there. There 
we had another child a little girl that lived a 
whole year, and grew very dear to her fafeer 
and to me she was a treasure and a consolation 
beyond value. I lost her in her second summer, 
and then my health failed. 

Ten years had now passed since we left the 
States, and thirteen years since our marriage. 

We returned, under another name, and lived 
about in various places in the South for four or 
five years. I had, in the course of those years, 
two other children little angels who seemed 
to have just flitted through this world on thek 
swift way to Heaven; one grave is in the 
prairies of the North-West Territory, and one 
in the forests of Kentucky. Do 1 tell you this 
waste of life coolly ? I did not take it so ; look! 



146 

my hair it quite gray, and A am, you know, but 
forty-two! We led a tramping, vagrant life; 
now he would be joined to a gang of counter- 
feiters now one of a company of travelling 
gamblers.* In all his tramps, I was by his 
ide, often the only female in a gang of Irom six 
to twenty men. always exposed to rudeness, 
often to insult. He would not permit me to re- 
main behind, nor would 1 have consented to 
stay. I was ever by his side, frequently expos- 
tulating, opposing, upbraiding. You would have 
thought, in so many years of opposition, that I 
would have grown weary of the task and aban- 
doned it; not so! I had an untiring spirit, 
though always, always his companion, I was 
never bis accomplice ! 

Within the last few years his temper had be. 
come very gradually soured and irritable his 
habit of intoxication increased fearfully upon 
him. I suffered often and frightfully from his 
violence of anger and frequent drunkenness. 

We were in Mississippi with a gang of bogus 
coiners, when I made the discovery that 1 should 
probably bring another babe into the world to 
perish from want and exposure. He and his 
gang were travelling in a caravan, in the guise 
of harmless emigrants. Many miles of fatigu- 
ing travel, many days of anxiety and nights of 
sleeplessness and exposure, had at last made me 
ill very ill so ill that I was obliged to stop. 
They left me in a woodman's cottage, on the 
banks of the Mississippi. He left me my trunk 
and a considerable sum of money every cent 
he himself had, in fact, and as much more as he 
could wrest from the reluctant pockets of his 
comrades. He gave me in charge of the wood- 
man and his wife, exhorting them to take the 
greatest possible care of me, and promising mu- 
nificent pay when he should return in a month. 

He took leave of me with visible reluctance, 
returning again and again to press a kiss upon 
my feverish brow, and to repeat his charges and 
his adieus. As for his comrades, I believe they 
would have been glad, only that they must have 
regretted the loss of their cook and seamstress, 
for I made their coffee and sewed their buttons 
on. A few days' rest and peace restored me. I 
was up in a week. Oh ! I cannot make you un- 
derstand how highly I appreciated the quiet, se- 
cluded sacredness of that little humble family 
circle the honest, hard-working woodman and 
his indutrious wife, and their aged parent*, and 
their young children, supported by their hard but 
honest work. I, who had lived for nearly twen- 
ty years a vagrant, wandering life, the strolling 

* NOTE. In the wandering life of the adventurer's 
wife, I have invented no fiction, but simply related 
facts taking care to suppress all that was most im- 
probable in their real experience. I had the story i 
jroon one who had it from the lipa of the suffering 
wife 



SH ANNOND ALE. 



companion of counterfeiters and blacklegs! it 
eemed to me like Heaven to be there a peace 
was falling on my spirit. Srrange! though this 
was my first parting with Frank, and though 1 
had always dreaded such a parting above all 
things, yet now I did not feel it very painfully; 
every painful feeling was lost in a sense of peace 
and rest, a feeling of cessation from evil-doing. 
Impossible, my brother, to make you or any one 
el*e comprehend who has not experienced it. 
After that, I began actually to dread the coorfhg 
of Frank, and my forcible re-union with the 
band. I began to wish ardently for some quiet) 
secluded place, where I could give life to my 
babe in safety, and rear it in peace perchance 
in goodness. 

You know that I was always impulsive, im- 
petuous. Well, 1 formed the sudden resolution 
of returning home returning here. For me to 
make a resolve, is to execute it. I wrote a letter 
to my husband, explaining my reason for leaving 
packed my trunk liberally paid the woodiaan 
and his wife for their care of me, and the day 
before Frank wa expected to re pas again on 
his way South, I left. I believe our boats passed 
each other as I was going up the river, and he 
down. Well, I arrived here about six weeks 
since. Old Christie and Tom did not at first 
know me, but they soon recognized me, I have 
not been bappy since I came, however ; the fore- 
shadowing gloom of approaching death darken* 
over my spirit I feel tbat I shall not survive 
my child I feel so more than ever to night. 
My brother, promise that you will etay with 
till all is over. It will not be many days, 
htps not many hours. 

" I promise, but, dear Veronica, do not gii 
way to such mournful thoughts your firt 
of life has been very wretched, that is a 
earnest that the latter half will be blessed 
happy no long life is miserable from youth 
age and yours will not be !" 

" If I live ! I believe you ! no life was eve 
wretched from youth to old age, and mine wi 
not be */ I live but I shall not live, my br< 
ther ! I feel it ! Bear with me I" 

At that moment a sheet of interne and blindii 
lightning flashed forth, filling the scene with 
sufferable radiance, followed by a clap of thui 
der, whose report seemed to shake the form 
tions of the earth ! The storm that had 
gathering all this time ha<l now broken out wit 
fury I Amid the rattling and rolling of the thi 
der was heard a loud-resounding crash, and 
heavy, continuous, tumbling fall. Some part of 
the old building had been struck, and was ti 
bling down. Veronica was pale, but self 
sessed. I seized my staff, and ran out 
see the amount of the damage done. A bi 
sheet of lightning illumined the landscape, anc 
showed me a wing of the old house in ruins. I 

While gazing on it, a wild shriek arose amid the * ! 

li 



SH ANNONDALE 



147 



storm, and rang through the house ! another ! 
and anocner ! each more despairing than the 
preceding. I rushed into the house, staff in hand, 
truck open the door of the sitting-room, where 
I had left Veronica, and there I found her, strug- 
gling fiercely in the strong, rude grasp of a tall, 
dark, iron-framed man, with the most diabolical 
countenance I ever saw, I saw her carried off, 
helpless, in his arms! 1 lost my senses! 1 
threw myself on him furiously with the uplifted 
stick, shouting, or trying to shout " Put her 
town!" and the next thing I recollect, my vic- 
tim was lying dead before me, and the stick had 
fallen from my hand! I missed Veronica she 
seas not there I did not know where she was 
gone I did not care ! I saw nothing but the 
dead victim before me ! I felt nothing but blood- 
guiltiness and terror! and this was so ex- 
treme that 1 turned deadly sick dizzy, and 
^liud my knees smote together numbly I 
Shook with an icy coldness! 1 cared not for 
7eronica now ! I cared for nothing ! thought 
)f. nothing I saw nothing! felt nothing! but 
the terror that was within, and the terror that 
Jtras before me! I thought 1 had the night-mare! 
'. smote m\ temple hard with my doubled fist ! 
'. bit the ends or my fingers, to wake myself up! 
'. tried to shout for Miss Mattie to come and 
ihake me, but the words died inarticulately in my 
hro it I was smothering- suffocating in blood. 
struggled shuddered partially recovered 
till as one under th influence of somnambulency 
picked up my victim, and hurried through the 
feme udous etorm towards the bay. Oh! how 
lastly the green-pale face of the corpse shone 
the terrible flashes of lightning! howl pray- 
how I tried lo wake up f I hurried towards 
tempestuous bay pitch dark as the sky was 
ve, the waters o* the bay were luminous, as 
th a phosphorescent light, and rolled towards 
shore like a sea of greenish fire. I lifted my 
tim aloft with a giant's strength, and as I 
pared to hurl him into the wild waters below 
thought I should surely start and wake ! 
was a crisis n the horrid dream that must 
use me ! A* I threw the corpse in I heard 
plunge ! saw the tempestuous and fiery wa- 
i open sparkle flash and close and the 
ribie -the seeming dream passed into in- 
sibility. 

When I awoke, the rising sun was shining 
adly aslant the morning landscape the he<rb- 
'vas all glittering sparkling with dew and 
bav flashing in the sunlight, brightly, gladly, 
f it had never felt a storm, or opened and 
ged over a murdered corpse, I was dripping 
t, and fearfully confused in intellect ; a vague 
ror was resting heavily on my soul, which 
uld neither shake off r>or interpret. Gradual- 
as recollection returned, I experienced a 
iening terror, but at first not remorse. I felt 
hough I had beea cheated by Satan into the 



perpetration of a crime while in a fit of som- 
nambulency and indignation and terror the 
feeling of a deluded and entrapped man who had 
still something more to tear the reeling of a 
victim, not of an injurer, possessed me. All 
this time I was getting upon my feet and totter- 
ing towards the house. 1 entered like a culprit, 
half insane. I had a vague intention o<^ finding 
out Veronica, and seeing how much she might 
know of the transactions of the nigbt, which 
were by this time taking quite a distinct form 
in my memory. 1 entered the house t wo or 
three old negroes were in the wide passage 
some knew me and saluted me ; I thought they 
would wonder at my soiled and wet clothing, 
but they did not appear to notice it ; they were 
indeed taken up with a matter of far more im- 
portance ; I passed them, and entered the sitting- 
room ; there I saw two old white women who 
had lived in the neighborhood ; they had known 
me as a young man, they recognized, and spoke 
to me ; I inquired tor my sister ; they looked at 
me with eyes full of pity, and one of them con- 
ducted me up stairs and into a chamber, where 
1 found a group of poor neighbors gathered around 
a bed upon which my sister lay dying On 
the lap of one of the women near her lay a new 
born infant. When Veronica turned her dying 
eyes on me, they pleaded so plainly " Come to 
me, my brother," that I made my way through 
the neighbors, and stood by the side of her bed. 
Still her eye* were turned pleadingly to mine, 
and I bent my ear down low to catch her faintly 
whispered words 

" It was Franky who was here last night " 
I nodded I had not been certain of it before. 
Where is he ?" 

I shook my head. She looked earnestly at 
me, and then turned her failing eyes towards her 
child. I raised it, and laid it before her. She 
fixed her eyes in silence upon its little face and 
then raised them, eloquent with love and plead- 
ing, to my face I stooped down again, to give 
her an opportunity of whispering 
" You will adopt her as your own 1" 
"Yes, I will ! indeed I will!" 
You will educate her yourself?" 
Yes ! indeed I will !" 
Jn the Catholic faith ?" 
" Do you wish it V 
Yes. I am a Catholic again I" 
This little conversation had exhausted her. 
She lay silent a long time. She signed for her 
babe to be placed near her face was raised, and 
kissed it then fell back. She did no' speak 
much after that She died within an hour 

Did I grieve for the lost sister found at night, 
to be lost in the mornin?? No! oh, >u>! s--me- 
thing far heavier than any grief oppressed me. 
Perfect memory had returned, and filled m with 
corroding remorse A remorse I have borne 
ever since. My sister's funeral took place on 



148 

the third day. My appearance there (I meau m 
that neighborhood ) was so natural tha>: it caused 
no gossip, even iu a gossiping community. 

t Joy's widen arrival and sudden disap 
pcnraf.ee, was evidently unknown, I placed my 

niece out to nurse in the neighborhood 
again shut up the house, and returned to Sacred 
H<-n with death! yes! witu fall in my*oul! 
It wa not till I found myself again in my com- 
fortable library at home, among my books and 
papers, thjitl real-zed to the utmost, the terrible 
thing that had l -appened to me My hair turned 
perfectly white in a week. "See how he loved 
bis sister !" sa<d my kind and confiding parish- 

. but they were wide of the truth- Ve- 

A ! alas ! much as I had loved her ! deeply 
as under other circumstances 1 should have 
mourned for her ! 1 thought not of her now ! 
every affection ! every emotion was swallowed 
up i . one absorbing remorse ! At the end of two 
years, I went down again into Maryland, and 
brought back with me my little niece, Harriette, 
whom 1 named after our mother, at my sister's 
request. I even took Harriette the more as a 
sati* faction to the manes of the father, than as 
a memorial ot love for the mother. Ah! no 
feeling ! none ! could divide the empire of my 
soul with the one possessing, absorbing, consu- 
ming remorse i Harriette keeps that alive! 
he has not one look of her mother ! she has 
the very fea:res an<1 complexion of her father ! 
Frank Joy's countenance laughs out to me from 
H ette's face. Years years of utter misery, 
have passed. Purgatory cannot be hell eannot- 
be worse than rny remorse Oh ! often have I 
wished that accident might reveal that guilt 
which I lacked the moral courage to confess ! 
And yet, with strange inconsistency, at the 
slightest chance of discovery 1 would turn sick 
with terror. In such unutterable sufferings had 
passed half a century, when the evil destiny 
of the neighborhood sent Sina Hinton here Un- 
til her arrival, I had supposed my dreadful se- 
cret confined to my own burning soul. Soon af- 
ter her arrival, for purposes best known to her- 
self, she particularly sought my acquaintance, 
and my ear in every in every company where 
we met An inexplicable look of Frank Joy in 
her face, sickened me from the first, 

" Yet she is not at all like Harriette, whom 
you amert to be the image of him " 

" Both are, and yet, as you say, they are not at 
USikvach other. But it is not unusual Take the 
face of H! most any of your acquaintances observe 
how different how opposite it appears at sundry 
times yet you are so familiar with this change 
this metamorphosis, that it does not strike 
you But notice again, there may be two children 
of the same parent strikingly like the parent, yet 
totally unlike each other resemblances do not 
lie alone in features, complexion, or even ex- 
pression } but in the curves and lines of the 



SHANNONDALE. 



spaces between the features to which the habi- 
tual spirit gives a character. It is in this in- 
stance as though Harriette, with her father's 
complexion and features, had inherited her mo 
ther's spirit, which gives them character. It is 
as if Sina, with some one else's features and 
complexion had caught a similar spirit to that of 
Frank Joy Or, to make my meaning still more 
dear suppose that at birth a human be- 
ing becomes possessed of a good and an evil 
spirit, (or inclination,) and that he transmits 
these in turn to his children If Harriette and 
Sina had been sisters both closely resembling 
their parent in Harriette would predominate 
the good spirit, in Sina the evil !" 

" May they not possibly have been half-sis- 
ters?" 

" Preposterous ! Sina is the child of Charles 
Hinton, a poor Irish gentleman, of good descent, 
and of Mary Darling, a distant relative of Squire 
Darling. They were married in Georgetown at 
least three years after after after that fatal 
night ypon the bay. Sina was born the second 
year of their marriage, five years after the the 
death well! the murder Af Frank Joy," said 
the old man, shuddering. He continued " Sbe, 
Sina H^ton, knew my secret, by what inexpli- 
cable circumstance, I do not know. She, by 
dark but alarming hints discovered to me that 
she knew my crime. She used her knowledge 
as a constant terror to nae used it as a handle, 
by which to wield the great and unmerited influ- 
ence I held over my wealthiest parishioners. 
By that means she grew into the favor and af- 
fections of Mrs and Miss Summerfield ot Squire 
Darling and his family; by that means she 
obliged me to perform the marriage rites betw 
Edgar Ardenne and Winny Darling; by t 
means she held me inactive when I would ha' 
mediated between the parent and the child ; 
that means she won through me the high este 
of Col. Dangerfield, even before she allured 
love ; by that means she betrayed Miss Sum 
field into making her confession where her 
trothed could hear it ; by that means she has 
brought about all the misery that has befallen 
us ; her object the possession of the Oak Grove 
property her end t to be caught and killed in ' 
her own trap. A hundred times I have of late, 
been on the point of this revelation ; a hund 
times have paused, as much from a horror 
overwhelming with affliction the Summerfiel 
who love me as a father, and of killing, outrig 
old Mrs. Darling, my friend for fifty years, w 
never, never could survive the shock of the 
covery, and all the terrific train of events t 
must ensue. Why do I at last confess? at 
last, when my safety seems otherwise secured by 
the death of my only foe 1 This, then, is the 
reason : I feel the near approach of DEATH so 
certainly- that there can b^ no doubt ! 1 am 
sure that I shall never rise from this bed ; far 



SH ANNO NDALE. 



less, live to meet the exposure the diigra e 
the scorn of esteemed friends tne arrest trial 
condemnation SCAFFOLD all that appalled 
me through life making me bear what I truly 
believe now to be the greater punishmnt--un- 
merited love and veneration SECRET REMORSE " 

' Father, you have, with the exception of 
that one SIN, lived a most exemplary life ! Who 
so self-denying, so prayerful, so charitable as 
you ?" 

Alas ! it might deceive the world ! it never 
comforted me !" 

" Father, do you know that the only fault you 
have to reproach yourself with yet, after all, it 
is the fault of which men least like to be accused 
--is COWARDICE or, perhaps, to speak more 
gently, a want of moral courage? And that 
want <\f moral courage is one-of the mos: ifnot 
the most fruitful cause of all the error, sin and 
suffering on earth. I have another case in my 
mind, besides your own. Father, review your 
supposed crime You hear scream* you rush 
in, to finH your sister struggling 'hen bring 
carried off, fainting, in the arms of a ruffian by 
one fell blow you stretch the man lifeless at your 
feet and straightway, in terror at what you 
have done, lose your self-possession, your self- 
controllose yourself, altogether become a 
mere half-maddened animal, actuated by the 
mere brute instinct of self-preservation, arid seiz- 
ing your victim, fly with him, and hurl him into 
the abyss of waters. Grant that all that -as 
the effect of a terrific delirium of the nerves, 
produced by excessive fright and horror still, 
if in the days that followed your sister's funeral, 
you nad gone to a magistrate, made a deposition, 
and invited an investigation, you would have 
been saved a lifetime of misery. You have suf- 
fered all this from the sin of cowardice and con- 
cealment. Oh! when I see the unutterable mi- 
sery ensuing from one single sin on earth, I 
hudder at what the retributions of eternity may 
be." 

I thought of making such a deposition, but 
shrunk from doing it. Every day of delay made 
the declaration more difficult years rendered 
the revelation nearly impossible. Who would 
have give;, credence to my statement? Who 
would not rather have supposed it to be an en- 
deavor to shift off a portion of the weight of re- 
morse, or of fear, by making a miserable com- 
promise with conscience, and telling a part of 
the truth ? What evidence had I to present of 
the truth of my story ?" 

* Strange, that your mind, which moves with 
such power, clearness and decision in the affairs 
of others, should be HO weak, and clouded, and 
uncertain in your own concerns Did you make 
no account of the ability and readiness of Provi- 
dence to assist you ? It is as I said, indeed! 
moral cowardice is the fault with which you 
ttave to reproach yourself!" 



149 

Alas, alas! not for that have I felt this bit- 
ter remorse, but for BLOOD-GUILTINESS ! 

" Father, drink this cordial/' sa" 1 Velleroonte, 
holding a glass to his lips. He drank it off* obe- 
diently. Vellemonte set the glass away, and 
taking the then old hand within his own, he 
looked with earnest meaning in the priest's face, 
and said "Father, this venerable hand is free 
from the stain of bl ood Frances Joy, this sup- 
posed murdered victim LIVES !" 

"WHAT! !" exclaimed the old man, starting 
up, with the energy of youth, and staring wildly 
in the face of his young companion. <^ What 1 . !" 
' again he exclaimed. *< Speak again ! Am I 
mad ? Am I sane ? Do I dream ? or am I 
awake ? or did you say Holy Virgin ! I am 
losing my reason, for 1 understand you to say 
Ha ! ha I ha ! You will laugh at me that- but 
| don't laugh atrne that pity t^e poor M <> an, 
whom remorse has nearly, or quite, maddened 
that Oh ! it is too wild even for a m&dmar.'s 
brain that bear with me t at Frank Joy, 
wnom I murdered lives lives ,' LIVES ! ! 
LIVES!!! Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! r-a! ha! 
h'-a-a-a-a-a-h!" and he fell back in strong con- 
vulsions. 

I have heard Mr. Vellemonte say tbat no joy 
ever was seen or conceived to equal his joy ! 
the joy th-at nearly killed him with its excess ! 
No fiuman heart receiving back its best beloved 
from the arms of death- no criminal, pardoned 
on the scaffold, could feel., could conceive, the 
delirious joy of this wild soul, frantic in its exul- 
tation at deliverance from the guilt of blood ! 
" LIVES ! LIVES ! he has LIFE ! LIFE ! ;; These 
were the words he repeated over and over 
again, in a perfect ecstacy of rapture. Ah! the 
deep despair of his former remorse could or.ly 
be weighed and estimated by the delirium of his 
present joy He made Mr. Vellemonte reiterate 
his statement many times, w ile he himself 
echoed it, in jubilant, insane gladness! He asked 
for no particulars seemed to care for none 
no fart could excite the least interest beside the 
t-verwhelmmg -.ruth that swept als ei- from his 
heart and mind, possessing; absorbing both, and 
expressed in the two words '<HE LIVES." It 
took all Claude Vellemonte's great magnetic 
power to calm him at last nor could he effect 
this for a long time. He gave him a powerful 
opiate, and put him to sleep but out of the 
EDddst of that sleep the old man would bound, 
and seizing his watcher, forcibly demand 

Did you tell me Frank Joy is ALIVE or did 
I dream? Oh! for the Virgin's sake, speak 
quickly !" 

Then Vellemonte would satisfy him, and then 
the same scene of delirious joy would be enacted 
again. Vellemonte remained by his side all 
night, and leff him only in the morning, with the 
intention of taking an hour's sleep He laft 
Miss Mattie by the patient's sidfi ; but the po 



SHANNONDALE. 



tir was anything but patient, and no sooner 
had Claude Veli-mo!.t thrown off his clothes, 
and lay <iown, than a tap at his door awoke him, 
and Miss Mattie oegged that he *ould please to 
cow to Father Burleigh, who was out of his 
lunacies, and talking such a he*p of horrible 
nonsense!" and Vellemonte returned to the bed- 
lit! e of the invalid, to re-assure and re-comfort 
him 

Well ! I do not know anything more stupid in 
a story of real life, than dwelling upon scenes of 
illness, unless it b^ for the purpose ol teaching 
paT--nce, which we shall tcarcely learn at the 
bedside of honest Father Burleigh, therefore, 1 
eh nil pass over the tew days that elapsed before 
he was strong enough, steady enough, and sane 
enough to hear the particulars of Frank Joy's 
escape and recovery. 



It wa a beautiful Spring day, and the win- 
dows of his chamber were open, and the sunshine 
ard the tresb air came in laden with the per- 
fume of flowers and the songs of birds, and Fa- 
ther Burleigh was sitting propped up in bed, 
among downy pillows and fresh, fragrant sheets, 
and soft comforters, aolacing himself with a bowl 
of chicken eoup, while Claude Vellemonte sat, 
with bis health-giving countenance, on one side, 
and Miss Mattie stood, with her jovial, edifying 
smi on the- other. In spite of all he had said 
about dying; he was very much better, indeed, 
and *<pped the savory chicken soup, and smack- 
ed his mouth after each sip, in a way that made 
good Miss Mattie's digestive organs thrill for 
sympathy and joy Well ! Father Burleigh was 
no. tlie first man that grief had prostrated upon 
his death-bed, and that joy had raised from the 
dead, Ne-ther was he the first man that ever 
predicted his "own speedy death, and turned out 
a false prophet. G'ood Father Burleigh eat his 
soup is if he had taken out a new lease for his 
life, and meant tfo- hourish his body to enjoy it 
withal! he then put the bowl to his 1'ps, and 
drained it, and then he asked Miss Mattie if 
there WOT any more in the pot? Of course 
there was ; and Father Burleigh got it " blew 
his dear mouth!" Miss Mattie said, as she car- 
ried out the empty bowl the second and last time, 
leaving Claude to amuse the convalescent. 

" No *r you may tell me, if you please, about 
Frank Joy'* escape, and where he lives, and all 
about it ! God bless Frank Joy, how much I am 
obliged to him for coming to life ! God bless 
Frank Joy, I love him so much! Is there any- 
thing you know of that I can do to serve him?" 
aid the old man, earnestly. 

"How strange your joy is, father! I was 

about to say, how irmtional ! Just contemplate 

it! Almost without your fnult * nan loses his 

ithout intending it, you kill" i him 

(you think), and you are overwhelmed with 



grief, remorse, and terror Without your inter- 
ference without any merit of yours, the man 
comes to life, or, to light ' and you are beside 
yourself with joy. Now, is this reasonable? 
You are the same man now that you were last 
week nothing you have done or left undone has 
produced this change why now should you be 
so metamorphosed ?" 

" Claude Vellemonte, you are irreverent to old 
age. I command you to read Fenelon on humi- 
lity and reverence, but first tell me bow these 
things came to your knowledge first of all, ring 
and tell Mattie that I am hungry again, and ask 
her to have tea early, with muffins !" 

Claude Vellemonte rung the bell, gave this or- 
der, and then, with unusual gravity, resumed his 
eeat, and commenced his explanation. 

' Father, you were with Miss Hinton at her 
death bed?" 

"Yes 

" ' By many a death-bed I have been, 
And many a sinner's parting seen, 
But never aught like that.' 

I could not bear it ! I resigned my post to you t 
with your almost miraculous skill !" 

"Yes, 1 was with her in her last hours. I w 
with her when she died. I received her confes- 
sion. I gave her absolution !" 

You received her confession ! You gave her 
absolution !" 

Yes ! She had a lucid interval before her 
death We improved that. She was not ail 
evil ! if she bad been, she would not have mad- 
denedthe good that was in her would not have 
taken such awful vengeance upon the evil. It 
is of her confession that I wish to speak. It is 
at her request that 1 make a part of it, which 
concerns the welfare of others, public !" 

" Claude ! Claude Vellemonte ! none <non 
but you, could have subdued the haughty and 
rebellious soul of that evil girl ! haughty and 
rebellious, even in her madness ! none but you 
could have won from her a confession, or dared 
to have given her absolution !" 

Death is a great tamer. She passed away, 
peacefully as a child her last breath breathed 
out upon my bosom. I was not afraid of that 
sin-bowed young head! You saw her wicked- 
ness! you did not know all that made her 
wicked. < Judge not, lest ye be judged. Yon 
will feel less hatred of poor Sina. when you 
know all her dreadful wrongs her mal-educa- 
tion. It is too painful a subject to relate in de- 
tail ; neither am I willing to fatigue you with it. 
In one word, Sina Hin^on is really and truly the 
daughter of Frank Joy, by his second wife, 
whom he, in the third year of his widowhood 
married, under his alias of Hinton!" 

Youaatound me!" 

She was informed of her father's history, 
and of your connection with it that you snr*. 
posed yourself his murderer, while she knew 



SHANNOND AL.E. 



151 



that he lived thus she had yon in her power, 
through your terror, and not through your guilt." 

Fool ! fool ! that 1 was ! Yes, I see it all 
now ! Bat, his ecape ! tell me how that hap- 
pened ! > 

Very simply your blow upon his head had 
stunned him -you plunged him into the water, 
whose waves returned him upon the beach im- 
mediatelythe shock recovering him. He re- 
vivedgot up recalled his scattered senses re- 
solved upon a fearful vengeance on his would-be 
murderer, and carried his resolution into effect ! 
What vengeance could be so awful as that he 
took upon you afflicting your whole life with an 
awful remorse and terror ? He lurked about the 
very neighborhood for a day or two ; found out 
the death of his beloved wife beloved in spite 
of all his vices found out your adoption of her 
infant daughter was willing that she should be 
reared by you he intending to claim her when 
he had sufficiently revenged himself upon you 
mind ! he charged you with, and hated you for, 
your supposed persuasion of his wife away from him 
for your indirectly causing her death, and his 
bereavement, and for your deadly assault upon \ 
him, and Heaven only knows, for how many j 
other imaginary reasons besides for hatred has j 
many and various inexplicable causes. He dared 
not remain in the neighborhood, where he was i 
corstantly in danger of being recognized and ar- 
rested, and to which he ha^i only come in secre- '. 
cy, to repossess himself of his wife. He left it 
in a few days. He wandered about the country 
for two years at last went to Georgetown, took 
a ne <v name, and after a few months' acquaint- 
ance with her, married the daughter of his host- 
ess, Mary Darling, the mother of Sina. He 
lived very unhappily with his second wife. In 
the third year of their marriage, Sina was born. 
They continued to live very quietly with Mrs. j 
Darling until Sina was seven years of age, then 
the old lady died, and he, possessing himself of 
all the property she left, converted it into ready 
money and went off, leaving his wife and child \ 
iu extreme deititution. Sina's mother waa not j 
naturally a good woman, and wrong had made | 
her worse. S-e evidently brought up her daugh- ! 
ter badly. When Sina was sixteen or seventeen 
years old, she was selected by her distant rela- 
tive, Squire Darling, as a companion for his 
daughter." 

Oh. yes ! I know all that ! and I know her 
machinationt to rnarry Winny to Ardenne, and 
supplant her in her father's heart and I know 
the torture she inflicted on me, in bending me to 
her purposes tell me something I do not 
know!" said the old invalid, impatiently. 

1 am about to do 10," replied Claude Velle- 
monte, good-humoredly. " Soon after Sina's ar- ! 
rival here, she received a letter from her long- j 
lost father; who, it appears, had never quite lost j 
trace of either of his daughters," 



Either of his daughters ! Good Heavens ! 
why. sure enough ! Harriette and Sina were half 
sisters! Thank Heaven, she is dea ! ' 

< He wrote to Sina and after a few letters, in- 
formed her that the priest of the parish where 
she was, had a crime upon his conscience, out of 
which she might make her fortune, if she play- 
ed her cards right. Miss Hinton began to w-vxh 
you closely. Then her father chanced to inqu ; re, 
in one of his letters, if she had met Harriette 
Joy, the priest's niece and to hint that the se- 
cret crime was connected with the nativity of 
that young lady. Immediately, and not unrea- 
sonably under the circumstances, Sina assumed 
the fact that Harriette was not your niece, but 
owned a nearer and dearer relationship to you 
however, the girl in probing your toul as she did, 
was too cautious not to deal exclusively in gene- 
ralities. She was in confidential coriespondence 
with her father, however, and it is evident that 
all her malign plans, with the single exception 
of her designs upon Colonel D&ngerfield, were 
suggested and encouraged by her father. It 
was just before the marriage of Winny Darling 
and Edgar Ardenne, that her father, feeling full 
assurance of her abilities, confided to her his own 
history, together with your secret, and supposed 
crime- This, of course, put you completely at 
the mercy of the wily girl, and she did not hesi- 
tate to use her power !" 

" No ! it was the night before the marriage of 
Winny and Ardenne, that she told me, in so 
many words, that she knew my secret, and 
darkly threatened to deliver me up to the 
SCAFFOLD O''), the perniciou* girl!" 

" Poor girl ! be merciful ' What good pre- 
cept did she ever hear ? What good example 
did she ever see ? She possessed intellect of a 
high order courage, spirit, and enthusiasm! 
With a good moral training, she would have 
made a very superior woman. She was a most 
noble creature, utterly ruined, as her parents 
had been be/ore her f God, be pitiful !" 

Oh! the pernicious girl! what gratuitous, 
vain tortures she made me suffer !" 

" What tortures she suffered herself ! though 
she had the fortitude and courage to conceal 
them ! What tortures ! why, listen ! they 
closed in madness and in death! Ah! believe 
me, Father, as a general rule, however deeply 
the injured suffer, the injurer suffers mere /" 

Yes, I dare say ! Ugh ! the horrible girl ! 
Don't mention her to me again ! it makes me 
shudder! my teeth chatter ! a ring the bell, 
and tell Mattie I am chilly. I want a nice, hot 
cup of tea, and some cream toast ! J 

Claude comnli*-d- and then said 

"There is a duty I have yet to perform. 
Squire Darling must be made acquainted with 
all the hand she had in persuading and mi*l*ad- 
ing the youthful lovers into their il]-5tarred 
marriage. At the time 1 left, be was vet unable 



152 



SHANNONDALE. 



to bear any agitation now, a* soon as I can be 
pared, I must hasten to Oak Grove, and use my 
beit efforts with Squire Darling for the recall of 
Ardenne." 

Yet ! and I will go with you so shall Har- 
riette we will all use our united influence. 
Mrs. Summerfield shall go also so shall Imo- 
gene r no shall Winny ! so shall the old lady ! 
come, we will all re-asserable at Oak Grove, 
as toon as ever I can get up, and that will be 
very soon!" 

Claude Vellemonte's reply was arrested by 
the entrance of Miss Mattie with the tea-tray. 



CHAPTER XLIL 

IMOGENS AND THE YOUNG PRIEST OF 3T, JOSEPH'S. 

And now the morning sun i up 

And shines upon that ble?ed day, 

And cluers it with his brightest ray, 

And his golden beams are shed 

On the penitent's fair head, 

As her sad confession pouring 

To the prie-t her sin deploring, 

In penitential holiness 

She bends to hear his accents bless, 

With absolution such as may 

Wipe our mortal ttains away. Byron. 

" But, ah ! Imogene, what humiliation ! what 
shame ! my dear, dear child, what a trial." 

" Ah, mother ! he bade me measure the ex- 
tent of my sin by the mortification it caused me 
^ confess it!" 

Ah, my poor girl, what a degradation I would 
that I could bear it for thee, Imogene. Alas ! 
alas ! what humiliation for my Imogene !" 

My sweet, my good, my darling mother I do 
not weep so ! I do not feel it as you nay ! I feel 
my heart filled and warmed with a full, deep 
comfort, and my soul exalted by a strange, sweet 
fervor I dear mother I it is well with thy child !" 
" Alas ! Imogene, canst thou not guess what 
will be the probable expiation of thy guilt V 

1 think I can divine it, mother, when I shall 
have confided my sin of sacrilege to my spiritual 
Judgehe will assign me the expiation of the 
veil and the convent " 
"And tkou, Imogene?" 
Oh ! I will accept any doom from his lips 
with humility, and find a strange, sweet pleasure 
in enduring it ! I will enter the convent and 
take the veil, and that ceremony will be our 
betrothal for eternity !" said Imogene, with en- 
thusiasm. 

And thy mother, Imogene 1 
Language cannot convey the heart-broken 
tone of bitterest anguish in which the almost 
bereaved mother put this question. Even Imo- 
gene's ex ; ' ^nance grew sMll in a blank 

expression almost of despair as she said, 



Tne Mater Doloroso will be thy support, my 
mother ! Think of Ma^y resigning her only, her 
spotless, her devoted son to the shameful and 
agonizing death of the cross for the sins of 
others ; bow to the will of Heaven, and thou ehalt 
be strengthened to give up thy erriog daughter 
to the easy expiation of conventual seclusion 
and prayer. You will find a child in every suf- 
fering daughter of earth that thou can'st succor, 
my mother!" 

"Ah! Imogene dost thou think that I can 
replace thee so easily 1 Oh ! Imogene, shall I 
remain in the world when thou art gone? No, 
child, no ! I will not forsake my own old mo- 
ther ! I will cling to her while her earthly life 
lasts, but then I too will offer my remaining 
days and my great sorrows to God within the 
walls of the cloister." 

Deeply distressed by the despair expressed 
even more in her tones and looks than in her 
words, Miss Summerfield turned and silently 
pressed her mother to her bosom. 

This scene occurred upon the morning of Easter 
Sunday, the day set aside lor the assigned pe- 
nance of confession. The carriage was waiting 
bftlow to take the mother and daughter to chapel. 
They entered it and were driven to Sacred Heart. 
It was a glorious Easter Sunday ! all nature 
was waking up in joy never was the earth so 
green and fresh, the eky so blue and clear, the 
sunshine so bright and glancing ; never were the 
flowers so abundant, so beautiful and fragrant; 
never were the birds so numerous, musical and 
glad ! It was yet very early as they alighted at 
the church door and entered Sacred Heart. The 
congregation had not yet begun to assemble. 
The church wa's empty. Mrs. Surnmern'eld took 
her seat in her own p.ew, and, Irnogene having 
embraced her mother, silently left her there to 
her private devotion and reverently sought the 
Tribunal of Confession, where, by a previous 
appointment, sat the young priest cf St Joseph's 
as spiritual judge. She dared not trust herself 
to look up at the grave though youthful and 
beautiful countenance of her spiritual guide 
but she felt the face of an archangel beaming 
down on her. Silently she knelt at the grating, 
folded her hands upon her bosom and bowed her 
head in prayer. Then, without change of pos- 
ture, her full rich voice was heard in low tones 
pleading 

Father I have sinned against Heaven and 
before thee ! Bless me, father, because 1 ha 
sinned !" 

The fair hands of the young priest were ex- 
tended and fell lightly, softly upon the beautiful 
and shame bowed head the radiant countenance 
of the young priest shone brightly, warmly over 
her, and his harmonious voice responded in tones 
of fullest blessing : 

" May the Lord be in thy heart and on thy 
lips, that thou mayest truly and humbly confess 



SHANNONDALE 



thy sing in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son and of the Holy Ghost Amen." 

Agai/> Miss Summerfield lowly inclined her 
head, and in an almost inaudible voice began the 
repetition of the penitential words of the comfi- 
tee; . 

I confess to Almighty God," &c., &c., &c 
but her voice continued to sink and fall, and her 
color to rise she paused 

Thf re wa u !**-. <* Broken very gently at last 
by the encouraging voice of the young priest 
say in- in * -^t-s, 

s ' My child, you should endeavor to bear in 
mind that you are in the presence of God ; that 
it ?s to God that in reality you open your heart. 
Win the blessing of Heaven upon your confes- 
sion by naming first the sin, whatever it may be, 
that you feel most reluctant to confess for this 
ac< of self- o: q est and humility will be most 
aecep able in expiation." 

Again M^ss Summerfield bowed her head, and 
murmured m nearly inaudible tones, 

" I accuse myself of having broken the first 
and grea commandment. I have had another 
god but one. I have given to the creature the 
worship due only to the Creator. I have not 
lov--d God above nil things. I have borne over- 
mu/'h love *x> the creature. 1 have thought, ir- 
reverently ot holy things. I have despaired of 
God's .mercy." 

Again her voice died away in silence, and her 
head rfrrooped lower, fell upon her bosom He 
waited for her to recover herself, but she re- 
mained silent, overwhelmed He reached and 
took her hands, folded them between h;s own, 
and in a voice full of commanding* tenderness, 
said, 

"Imogene name specifically the sin that 
troubles thy bosom that I may be able to judge 
the state of thy conscience. Can a physician 
prescribe who does not know the nature of his 
patient*^ disease and symptoms ? Speak, Imo- 
gene Offer, in the serene spirit of self-abnega- 
tion> thy strong repugnance in expiation of thy 
fault *peak } Imogene ! I adjure thee !" 

< Thou hast given me a command 1 had rather 
died than obey but thou hast given it to me I 
Listen, tben! I have loved thee, loved thee,, 
more than any other being on earth more than 
God. Mav'st thou may God forgive me !"* 

Overwhelmed with shame her head fell for- 
ward upon the grating as in a swoon, but she had 
not swooned, x Silence fell again between them. 

At last-' Hast thou any other thing' with 

* This singularly trying confession of a sinful pas- 
sion to the reverend object, was really enforced as 
the most appropriate and most humiliating exp a'ion 
to be conceived of. It is one of those things that a 
fictionist " ould not invent, and dare scarcely copy 
from life. 



153 

which to accuse thyself, Imogene ?" he inquired, 
in a low tone 

u None none," she murmuredc 

Hear me then, Imogene Your greatest 
fault has been a want of fortitude and faith in 
God in your mother and your spiritual guide ; 
and that moral cowardice and unbelief has caus- 
ed your greatest suffering in leaving your mind 
to a dark, a blind, and a false misapprehension 
of yourself, of me, and of our circumstances and 
duties. Had you cleared your bosom of this 
secret from your first discovery of its existence, 
you would then have saved yourself arid others 
all the sorrow that has grown out of it. Will 
you look at me, Imogene ? You have not raised 
your eyes to mine since you kneeled down here. 
What is there in my face to alarm you ? Will 
you look at me, Imogene ?" 

She raised her eyes and met the calm, clear gaze 
of the radiant, eyes through which the pure, strong 
soul shone so truthfully. She felt that there was 
nothing in those ^ye or that soul to shrink from. 
He took her hands between his ofn, and gazing 
down into her upraised eyes, spoke : 

" Can you. Imogene, whenever in the future, 
a sin or a sorrow troubles you can you lay that 
sin or sorrow on my heart 1" 

" Oh ! 1 can I can as on the bosom of the 
Virgin Mother !" 

' Csn you, Imogene, confide every secret of 
your soul to my keeping ?" 

" Oh ! I can as to the bosom of my Saviour." 

" Will you trut me implicitly with the gui- 
dance of your life ? Will you confide your earth- 
ly ann immortal welfare to my care ?" 

" Oh, I will ! I will ! so trustingly i so confi- 
dently ! so gladly ! even as to my God I" 

The young priest folded his hands together and 
remained for awhile absorbed in meditation, or in 
silent prayer At last stretching forth hs hands 
a* in benediction, he said, in a sweet, but solemn 
voice, 

" Daughter, I am about to pronounce the abso- 
tiori and remission of thy sins" 

" But, Holy Father, my penance- my expia- 
tion?" murmured Imogene, very gently diffi- 
dently interrupting him 

A singular but inexpressibly sweet, benignant, 
and happy smile illumined his features for an in- 
s r ant, and then passed away, leaving on his 
countenance an elevated solemnity befitting the 
confessional, he replied, with grave tenderness, 

Trve, my penitent thy expiation do not 
believe that for a single instant I had lost sight 
of that necessity ; I did but delay thy sentence. 
The time, the place, and the manner of thy 
penance^ I will reveal to thee to-morrow, io thy 
mother's house and presence. Tby expiation 
Imogene, will be the work of thy whole life ; 
nay, it will change the whole course and purpose 
of thy life 5 it wi'l effect thy earthly ar<d immor- 
tal destin^ and that of others through thee* 



154 

T . *ill find in its course, much of trial ; much 
of toil ; rrequem occasion for self-denial; much 
of suffe.ii!!; for the sake of othen, who may, in 
their ingratitude, disappoint and grieve thee ; in 
short, much of ever) sorrow; but r.hou shalt also 
fine more &\ compensation; more of well earned 
comfort and enjoyment; more of gratitude and 
love from otners; more of heart-felt, soul-felt, 
social and religious happiness !" 

A pause gave Icnogene an opportunity of reply- 
ing.; a ceitain fervor of emotion impelled her to 
reply. She murmured in tones, low, but, oh ! so 
foil of earnest feeling, 

I understand thee; I had even anticipated 
this manner of expiation. My mother is also 
prepare-: to hear it. We spoke of it this morn- 
ing. She is resigned. I understand thy delay 
alo. and thy soothing, strengthening words 
Thou wouldst prepare me; thou wouldst comfort 
and strengthen me to hear and bear the doom 
thou shalt so compassionately pronounce Fear 
not for me; it will not be bitter the fate. It 
will be surety coming from thee. Fear not; J 
accept ir ! Only one thing 1 will plead for thou 
wile be present at the ceremonials that shall seal 
my destiny ttiou wil r if possible if it may be 
permitted. thyself receive mv vows thyself 
place the veil upon my brow, the ring upon my 
finger ? 

" It hall be so, Imogene. I solemnly promise 
tbee to be present at thy religious espousals 
and. Imogene " here he took her hands, folding 
them between his own " Imogene, look up ' 
She raised her eyes to his, that were looking full 
upon her. They gazed into each other's eyes 
till toul met soul, and then he continued in a 
tone of sweet solemnity, And, Imogene, that 
ritual will seal our union for all eternity dost 
thou believe it ?" 

1 ! I do ! I do ! I do know it so well feel 
it so deeply 1 used those very words to express 
that very conviction this morning !" 
He looked long into her eyes and then said, 
" 1 ain about to absolve thee, Imogene !" 
She crossed her hands upon her bosom and 
bowed her head in the very devotion of reve- 
rence. He extended his palms, which descended 
slowly, and fell lightly, softly upon her graceful 
head, and said, 

" May the Almighty and Merciful Lord give 
thee pardon, absolution and remission of thy sins, 
an bring thee to life everlasting May cur 
Lord and Saviour absolve thee; and bv His au- 
thor- ty I absolve thee from every bond of ex 
communication, and of interdict as far as /have 
power and thou hast need. I, therefore, do ab- 
solve the*' from all thy sins, in the name of the 
Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. 
May whatever pood 'hou shalt do, or evil thou 
halt nutter, b t<, th*p, into rr je remission of toy 
sins The increase of grace, and the recompense 
ol life everlasting. Amen." 



SHA.N NOND ALE. 



He ceased. Imogene remained kneeling in 
silent prayer a moment, anH then rising, slowly 
and reverently, but with a peaceful .-<d radiant 
countenance, was about to leave .he confessional, 
when their eyes met in a long ^irnest gaze. He 
did not withdraw his she could not drop or veil 
hers. A strong, an omnipotent attraction seized, 
maddened, nearly mastered her ! To turn away 
from him was not painful, it was agoniz>ng; it 
was not difficult, it was deathly not parting 
from one beloved, but the inevitable, the violent 
rending in two of soul and body. She passed 
from the confessional. The light and warmth 
that had hitherto sustained her the healthful, 
strengthening and happy influence of the young 
priest upon her whole being, seemed abandoned. 
A change slowly, coldly, darkly overswept her 
spirit. Never did one going from a genial, 
warmed and lighted home out into the dark 
night and freezing cold, feel the transition phy- 
sically so slowly, painfully, as she did spiritual- 
ly She reached her pew dizzy, suffocated, blind, 
swooning nearly, and sinking down in her seat; 
and without looking at her mother, she dropped 
her head forward upon the front of the pew, 
while her despairing thoughts took something 
like this shape 

" I shall see him but twice more in my whole 
life ; to-morrow when he comes, and in his 
sweet, commanding tones, tells me to enter a 
convent; when I, intoxicated with hia presence, 
and powerless under his will, shall, with a smile, 
but an illusory smile, accept the destiny, as I 
did just now He will then leave me. and I si 
fall into despair, a-s 1 do this momen . Ye* 
will pas, and I will vegetate through a loatl 
some life, like that of a rank, aquatic weed, 
the damp walls of some sub-marine dungeon. 
Then we shall meet again, and for the lust, lai 
time. And again, and for the last, last time 
shall come the short lived joy, ecstacy, insanity, 
of his presence. When he whom I love so de^ 
tfdly, who loves me so entirely, will place tt 
ring upon my finger, the black veil on my brow, 
and disappear forever from my view. And thei 

and then and then I shall sink into a living 
death be inhumed alive! Shall \ live? can I 
exist, a poor, divided being, in a Jiving tomb ? 
Ah ! yes; for I am the strongest of a strong and 
long lived race, We are hard to kill : rn] 
the most indestructible of the whole. Nothing- 
no, n< thing but a conflagration, or some 
catastrophe ending in a violent death, can pre- 
vent my spending sixty or seventy years of a 
living death in the grave of the convent." 

A. strong and fearful reaction was moving within 
her. Her whole strong heart, soul and intellect, 
was in open insurrection Her whole nature 
rising: in terrible and uncompromising rebellion 
againt the tyranny and the violence put upon 
it Wa ; e upon wave of passion rolling up from 
the deeps of her soul, stormed in her tempestuous 



SH ANNO ND ALE. 



155 



bosom, excitirg there wild and Rinfol, and for 
for, unprecedented thoughts 

U Heaven itself worth purchase at this price, 
tbis awful sacrifice? Aias! 1 madden! I sin! I 
am only good ; I am only strong ; I am only reli- 
gious; 1 only live wnen Ciaude it> with me, or 
when I feel that his spirit is near roe as just 
now at the confessi-mal as sometimes at home. 
lam evil; I am weak ; I am irreligious; 1 die 
when Claude is absent, and withdraws his 
thoughts from me as now ! It is not insanity ; it 
is not falsehood; it is not even fancy; but it is 
truth God's holy truth that 1 am but the divi- 
ded and quivering moiety of a human being when 
separated from Claude's presence, and absent 
from his thoughts. I cannot ! I cannot ! I can- 
not !" 

For the first time, perhaps, in all her life, 
Imogene, forgetful of her surroundings, lifted ujp 
her voice and w<*pt! Wept! nay, her whole 
soul and body was Violently convulsed; her 
whole nature for the first time passionately re- 
belled against her destiny. 

The mother an<! daughter were as yet quite 
?lone in the church ; but it was to be expected' 
every instant that some one would come in ; that 
soon the chapel would fill. Mrs Summerfielri 
especially, fearing such a provable interruption 
anH observation, stole her arm softly around her 
daughter's waist, and murmured, in gentle tones, 

" Imogene, love, the congregation will be 
gathering soon ; if you cannot compose yourself 
we had better return home, dear, lest we draw 
observation upon us," 

"Oh, yes! home home let us go home!" 
gasped Iraogene ; and they were quietly arising 
to leave the pew, when the deepj rich tones of 
Claude Vellemonte at the pew door, arrested 
them. He reached his hand over to Mrs. Sum- 
merfield to shake hands witu her. The mother's 
brow crimsoned for an instant at the sight of the 
young priest, until she met his eyes. BO full of 
strength and purity, when her agitation subsided. 
The storm in Imogene's hopom was also stilled. 
The magnetic, the fabled miraculous power of 
Claude Vellemonte was once more felt by both 
mother and daughter, as he stooped over the lat- 
ter and said, 

"Imogene, whatsis the matter? Compose 
thyself, my dear child Before and above all 
things, believe in thy Father's love. He who 
created thee, loves thee, Imogene ; desires thy 
happiness ; believe and receive this, for it is 
true ; hear His words : < Verily I say unto you, 
there is no mail hath left house, or brethren, or 
sister, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, 
or land, for my sake and the gospel's, 

" < But shall receive an hundred fold NOW IN 
THIS TIMB- -houses, and brethren, and sisters, and I 
mothers, and children, and lauds, with persecu- j 
tions and in tbe <orkl o come -ternal life.' Thus ! 
you ee, Imogene, < Godliness is profitable in all i 



things, having the promise of THIS LIFE, and of the 
life to come ' But, Imogen*-, 10 avail thyself of 
Gospel promises, thou must believe in and act 
itpon them. Imogene, repose on the promises. 
Be believing. Be calm- Be cheerful H*ve a 
modest confidence in the mercy of thy Divine 
Parent. Remain here, Imogene. 1 will see tuee 
again to-morrow." He stroked her brow gently, 
and was gone. 

That day the young priest took for his text the 
Scripture : Whoever will lose his life for My 
sake and the kingdom of Heaven's, shall save 
it." His text and sermon were singularly ap- 
propriate to Easter Sunday, the morning cele- 
brating the Resurrection of our Saviour from the 
dead ; and as singularly appropriate to the state 
of at least one of his hearers. He spoke of the 
Saviour's voluntary resignation of His life. Of 
the anguish, the terror, and the failing, dying 
faith of His disciples, as they witnessed His 
arrest, His trial, execution, and burial. Of the 
deep, the utter despair that followed that event. 
He dwelt upon this picture so earnestly, so elo- 
quently, that even his hearers were carried back, 
in imagination, eighteen hundred years, and felt 
t^at all hope had gone down with the Saviour to 
the grave Tnen as he turned sun-ward to the 
glorious morning of the resurrection, his whole 
countenance was transfigured before thfn, and 
beamed with an archangelic radiance and power 
as he depicted that startling, that electrifying 
denouement. The surprise, the joy, the ecstacy 
of the disciples, in hailing again their risen and 
glorified Lord and Saviour, now proven Lord and 
Saviour beyond the shadow of a doubt! their re- 
newed and strengthened faith, renewed and 
strengthened, for all eternity. Finally he drew 
from this a consolation for all Christians tempted 
to despair. Their buried love arid hope, buried, 
forever, in their thoughts, would rise again! 
would rise in joy ! in glory ! and surprise them 
into an ecstacy of gratitude and worship! 

But I feel that in giving this third- hand re- 
port of Claude Vellemonte's inspired and most 
eloquent Easter Sunday sermon, 1 am doing him 
injustice Very weakly do bis great, strong 
words, very coldly do his fiery words, flow 
through my feeble pen. In fine, tnere was mere 
than one soul raised, comforted and strengthened 
that dayf 

At the close of the services, Claude Velle- 
monte announced that Father Burleigh had re- 
covered his health, and expected, with the bless- 
ing of Heaven, to resume his place in the 
pulpir upon the next Sunday That in conse- 
quence of that and other circumstances, which 
would be duly made known to them, his own 
short and delightful connection with the congre- 
gation of the Sacred Heart Chapel would end 
with the services of that afterroon, when he 
should take an affectionate ai c a final Je*ve of 
his beloved charge. This circumstance, in the 



156 SHAHaO-NDAEE. 

event of Father Burlpigh's recovery, was toono sleep, however, for Mrs. Summerfield, The 



natural an-' too much ro be expected, to cause 
any urnis^ how much oever of regret it might 
and did occasion. The congregation was then 
dismissed. The mother and daughter returned 
home. Imogene, at least calm, if not happy. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

THB CONTKMPLATKD EXPIATION. 

Her down-b- d a ptllet, her trinkets a bead; 
Her lu-ir.' one taper that serves her to read; 
Her rultu e the crnoifix nailed to her bed, 
Her painting- one print of the thorn covered head; 
Her cushion the pavement that wearies her knees', 
Her music the psalm, or the n'gh of disease 

Griffin Sister of Mercy. 

" Oh, mother, motner, let me seek rest imme- 
diavly ! let me think- let me take time for 
eelf r^c 11. ction. I know flot wb/' has happen- 
ed, what in boc f to happen to me. clearly! I 
shall to mad in this . confusion ! this chaos! 
Mother, f had self possession and fortitude once, 
ha- I not ? In the uttermost bitterness of iny 
anguish and remorse, I governed mx self, did I 
not 1 I retained my own self-respect, and com- 
manded the respect of others, did I not ? I can 
do so. not much longer! 1 hold my self-govern- 
ment by the slightest tenure, that threatens 
every instant to give way. I have ^motions of 
wildneFs! Indeed, I think I am going mad! 1 
am not now the same being from one hour to 
another! exalted one honr into an ecstacv ot 
religious enthusiasm, and plunged the next into 
the depths of a profound despair ! thus the 
waves of my soul rise and fall, and beat their 
bores in my Honom ! This must be madness, if 
the mad can be half conscious of their condition 
nd vet and yet It seems to me sometimes, 
that only mv ecstacy is madness, and that my 
despair is round'y rational ! Ah, if it be so, let 
me go mad kind Heaven !" 

"My love! my dear love! my Imogene! you 
are not mad or going mad yours is a delirium 
of the nerves a frenzy of excited emotion do 
not have such dreadful thoughts ; dismiss them 
from your mind ! The really insane are never 
eonsciou*; if th*>y were, they would get sane 
again You must have sleep, my love ! indeed 
you must!" 

" Let me go merrily mad, not melancholy 
mad, kind angels!*' exclaimed Imogene, with a 
. ^teru-al laugh ! How unlike herself! 

Really alarmed now for her daughter's reason, 
Mrs Summerfield with ('iffieulty subdued her 
own emotions, and sought to soothe Tmogene. 
She u*ed every morl ar.d material means within 
her reach, to compose her violently exc-ted 
nervous 'va'em nu^^p^de ' in getting 

her to bed a^d 'ullin* b3r to sleep. There was 



lady paced slowly up and dovvn the gorgeous but 
dimly lighted chamber of her daughter, think- 
ing, with deep anxiety, of all the cases ot insa- 
nity she had heard of, arising from religious fa- 
naticism, where it conflicted violently with 
some natural law of our being. Then she passed 
in review the whole history of Imogene's* life, 
since her return home, and all that she had re- 
vealed of her life at school. The visions of her 
illness, it is true, were probably merely the tem- 
porary effect of virulent fever ; but the visions 
of her convalescence were a more alarming 
matter. And after her arrival at home, her 
profound melancholy even deepening to gloom; 
her days of depression, her nights of elevation; 
and what was still more dreadful, her violent, 
opposite and inconceivable alternations of mood, 
within the last few weeks ; being at one hour so 
deeply despairing, at another exalted into such 
a heaven ol religion* ecstacv, and anon, so in- 
effably serene ; all these things presented them- 
selves to the mother's mind in a new and terri- 
ble light. 

Yes, yes, wounded affections, violated natural 
laws, religious fanaticism were taking a terr.'ble 
vengeance upon their subject, in doing thi work 
of mental destruction upon Imogene Her over- 
burdened and over wrought heart and brain were 
desperately struggling for existence amid the 
horrors of this furious moral typhoon, and her 
glorious intellect in imminent danger of ship- 
wreck amid the metaphysical breakers a oundher. 
Now, perhaps, for the first time in Mrs. Sum- 
merfield'a life, a doubt of the righteousness of 
that ecclesiastical doctrine by which her daugh- 
ter was made to suffer such extremity of an- 
guish, remorse and humiliation, which would 
eventuate assuredly in confirmed madness, arose 
in the mother's mind ; but it was immediately 
suppressed as sinful. 

Not so easily, however, were her too well 
grounded fears for Imogene subdued. Nothing 
but the common life would re-tore Imogene to 
sound health of mi*>d and body People 'vere 
not created with five senses, an" put upon t>>is 
solid earth, covered, as it is, with material beau- 
ties and pleasures, to lose their senses in spiritual 
abstraction, anv mor than *o degrade them in 
excessive luxury. The medium.! the medium! 
There was right tker* was -visdom Mn Sum- 
merfield now felt this, but, for her immortal soul's 
salvation, she dared not think it out ! So she 
eighed and groaned, and pacefi up and iown the 
gorgeous chamber, tilt at length she wenr and 
prostrated herself before the image of the Virgin, 
on the elegant little altar we have described be- 
fore. Here, in silent prayer and meditation, ehe 
spent the remaining '"ours of the night. Mean- 
while from ' effects of mental an-1 phy- 
sical exhau*ti'>n and of an opiate, Miss Summer- 
field slept soundly. 



SH A 

At dawn, t he lady arose from her knees some 
what calmed, but wearied, and opened the win- 
dow shutters, to let in the first laint, gray light 
of morning. This was not enough to allow her 
to dispense with the lamp, for she wished to look 
at the quiet sleeper But Imogene was not 
a*leep, anu as the lady approached her bedside, 
and stood tnere, she raised her white arms from 
the cover, and putting them around her neck, 
drew down her face to kiss, murmuring, 

"My pale mother, you have watched all 
night!" 

Never mind me, love ! How are you, Imo- 
gene ? 

" Calm ! every nerve at rest now, dear 
mother " 

" Ah, yes, this is one of your seasons of sere- 
nity, my child I- fallacious, illusory it is," 
thought the lady ? looking mournfully at her 
daughter. Imogene passed her hand over her 
brow once or twice, covered her face with both 
hands, lay so for a while, and then looking up s 
said, 

" Do you know Mr. Vellemonte comes here 
this morning, mother ?" 

"To take leave of us? yes, my child, I 
know it " 

" And, mother, to pronounce on me the sen- 
tence of my doom ; you divined it, mother. 

RAfp j-ou, also, prepared at last to hear it?" 
Yes yes, my child ; and yet yet was it 
for this, oh ! God" 

The lady's voice failed she dropped her head 
upon the side of the bed and wept. She was ac 
cutomed to self-discipline though, and so she 
soon stayed her tears, raised her head, and dried 
her eyes. While Imogene said, slowly and 
solemnly, 

< Only God is great' only eternity is per- 
manent. Tnis life will end at last, and you and j 
I, mother, will meet in eternity, never to sepa- j 
rate again." .Then, after a pause, she said, I 
There is one thing belonging to time, and to j 
this world, that I must arrange, mother that 

advertisement for Edgar has it been suffered to 
drop from the columns of the newspapers ?" 

Ye, my dear ; it seemed to elicit nothing, 
and I have not ordered its continuation." 

Mother, I wish you to order the renewal of 
that advertisement without delay. It cannot do 
harm, it is to be cautiously and delicately word- 
ed, as before and it may at length meet the eye 
of Edgar, or of some one who knows his place of 
abode. Alas ; you know it is the only chance. 
My uncle enforced a promise from nim, that he 
would never seek Winny again." 

How wrong that was, in Edgar, to give it." 

" Yes, very wrong ; but Edgar was scarcely 
nineteen ; he saw Winny on the eve of becom- 
ing a mother, and herself and child in imminent 
danger of perishing with cold and hunger for it 
was the depth of Winter, you recollect." 
14 



* 167 

. H* should have let us know his condition." 

" Ah, mother ! we ought to have inquired into 
it once more It was so much more natural in 
him to seek aid from their father ; and you know 
a mind so distressed as his was then, is not al- 
ways capable of reasoning in the best manner. 
But what we have to do now, is, to bring him 
back here, if possible then to reconcile my uncle 
to him ; that will not be impossible, if he be 
made acquainted with all the art and double- 
dealing which that unhappy girl used to betray 
them into their indiscreet marriage." 

" No for my brother's greatest auger against 
Ardenne, was kindled by the thought that he had 
treacherously sought the affections of his daugh- 
ter, and married her for a speculation ; he did 
not dream that Winny, poor child, quite inno- 
cently did most of the love-making herself and 
that Miss Hinton did the match-making. None 
of us thought that we were all misled by that 
poor, misguided Sina. Well, the advertisement 
shall be renewed to day, and kept up until some- 
thing transpires. Much do I fear, however, that 
Ardenne has perished in the Western wilds." 

" And then, mother, Winny, what a desolate, 
poor child ! When I am gone, mother, keep her 
in your heart and home as your own daughter. 
She, poor one, needs a mother even as you will 
then need a daughter. Comfort. hsr s mother, 
and you shall be comforted." 

Mrs. Summerfield's tears flowed again, and 
were again stayed, and resolutely wiped away. 

*' And, mother, the disposition of my wealth j 
you, so richly jointured, do not need it ; never- 
theless, you must have half. Of the other half 
it will take but a very small portion to dregs a 
bride of Heaven and the bulk I will make over 
to Edgar Ardenne. That will make him inde- 
pendent of his father-in-law, as it is best for him 
that he should be ; and Winny will be better 
pleased than if 1 gave the money to herself. If 
Ardenne returns, mother, persuade them both to 
live with you. Let them be to you children 
get interested in their children. For you and I, 
mother we shall meet in Heaven." 

Mrs. Summerfield promised everything her 
daughter wished. She would have promised any- 
thing then. 

CHAPTER LX1V. 

THB SURPRISE. 

Sunrise will come next! 
The shadow of the night is passed away ! 

Here begins your true career. 

Look up to it ! All now is possible 
The glory and the granceur of each dream, 
And every prophecy shall be f unfilled. 

Browning* s Luziq 

This was Easter Monday, be it remembered 
and about ten o'clock in the day, when Miss 
Summer field sat in the parlor awaiting the ar- 



158 

nv of the young priest- It was the front par 
lor on the left hand of the ball, and whose tall, 
front windows commanded a view of the grove- 
dapnle't ami rolling Uwn, which heaved in green 
wave* down to the river of the encircling river 
with its tree fringed bants, and of the blue 
chain of lofty mountains shutting in the whole 
C'ne. 

A servant entered, and placing a card in Mia 
Summerfield's hand, retired. She read it indo- 
lently, without at first taking in its meaning 
She looked at it again, and grew pale as she read 
tb> name engraved on it aloud** Mows. LB 
Duo DB VELLEMONTB What does this mean?" 
Sbe looked up, <-nd Claude Vnllemonte stood be- 
fore her; or, was this indeed the young priest of 
8'. Joseph's? No I for the priestly garb WHS 
gone and this gentleman rvore a quiet citizen's 
dress of speckles? black and yet, indeed, it was 
Clause Vellemonte, and not another, who, ad- 
vancing, now and replying to her question, be- 
gan to say, 

It means, my dear Imogens " 

But before he went any farther, he sat down 
on the sot* beside her, passed his arm around 
her waist, and drawing her head upon his bosom, 
bent and pressed his lips to hers in the very 
first, virgin kiss he had ever given woman ! or 
she had ever received from man ! It was a life- 
giving kiss to both ! and he gazed down in her 
radiant eyes with a smile of pure ecstatic joy, 
lighting another imile in her face, such as only 
children or angel* wesr I 

And she ! Was she shocked, alarmed waa 
she even surprised at this sudden, this unprece- 
dented joy ? or, was it unprecedented ? No ! for 
even thus they had often met in the spiritual land, 
in dreams, that seemed as real as this ! No! It 
seemed so right, so natural, or rather, every 
thought and emotion was swallowed up in a feel- 
ing of measureless content, as she lay there in 
the pure ^rmc of her spotless, her almost divine 
lover as she lay there, lost in a trance of joy. 
No one word of explanation had been spoken 
yet *he was so naturally, so inexpressibly hnp- 
py ! While Claude gazed down upon her, his 
radiant eye* showering blessings, and more di- 
vinely blewed himself in the sense of giving, 
thnn of receiving happiness. At last he mur- 
mured lowly under his breath, 

< You beautiful and happy child f Oh, to hold 
you thus! It is even more of Heaven than my 
vmoas promised to have your head lying here, 
when- in dream* only it has ever laid ! Ah, rest 
your head here, on my bosom, where it has so 
long ached to rest ! where I have so much longed 
to hve it ! You darling f you good ! you beau- 
tiful, h*pp child I" 

An CUud"! my heart must break with its 
ex Go-.i and you!" 

"Ob, Imogene : mv iouFa bride tor so long I 



SHANNONDALE. 



My spirit bride ! My dream- bride, embodied at 
last, and on my bosom! My dream- bride " 

" My dream-lover !" 

" My measureless content! Oh Imogenel 
Imogene !" he murmured, hovering over her 
lips again, lighting softly on them. 

"You thought of me all this time! You 
loved me all this time and Claude, I always 
knew it !" 

" Always ! Always ! Imogene, I was with 
you in my dreams f By day, 1 would conscien- 
tiously dismiss you- -but ( sleep has its own 
world,' governed by its own laws there 1 ever 
found you again." 

" You were ever with me in your dreams ?" 

Ever ever, Imogene !" 

" 1 knew and felt it ! My days were wretch- 
ed ; but my nights were unutterably happ, I" 

" My beaut'ful embodied dream Mv happy 
dream embodied, and in my arms ! Why, Imo- 
gine, you are so real, I cannot realize you! 
Long giosgy purple lock/! majestic brow, and 
glorious eyes ! and lips ! Ah ! m v beautiful 
dream-bride! I shall never! never! never! wake 
up agavn and lose you \ n and stooping, his lips 
grew to hers again ! 

" Mr. Vellemoute ! ! f Father Vellemonte ! ! ! I 
1 am SHOCKED ! ASTOUNDED ! J> exclaimed the 
voice of Mr Sumtierneld, who at thi% critical 
moment appeared, and was struck still in the 
door, like a statue of horrified astonishment in its 
niche ; Mr. Vellemonte ! Fatksr V-llemonte, I 
say! you horrify me beyond measure ! In the 
Virgin's name, what dreadful sacrilege is this?" 

They do not see or hear her for 

" Heedless as the dead are they 
Ol aught around above beneath, 

As if all else had passed away 
They only for each other breathe." 

ft Mr VellKmonte! FATHER Vellemonte! 
you wish to KILL me, then ?" 

"Oa! my dream bride! my beautiful embo- 
died spirit bride !" murmured the entranced 
man, straining her again and again to his b som, 
and pressing fervent kisses on her brow and 
eyes and lips, in the very ecstacy of rapture f 

" My God! 1 shall presently madden ! Imo- 
gene! my daughter! Miss SUMMERFIELD!'' ex- 
claimed the deeply scandalized lady, in the ex- 
tremity of distress. 

" Ah, Claude ! my archangel ! when did I die? 
I do not remember when came 1 to Heaven, 
Claude ?" sighed Imogene, quite lost in a trance 
of joy. 

" FATHER VELLEMONTE, release my daughter, 
this moment!" exclaimed the lady, flying to- 
wards them. 

Olaud-e now looked up did he drop Imogene? 
No, indeed! Had a t-un-ierbolt fallen at Ms 
feet, he ^ould not have Cropped her then ! He 
took time to kis her again, and gather her 



SHANNO NDALE. 



159 



closer to his bosom, before he answerer entire- 
ly at random, an observation whose sound he 
had only heard. 

" Yes, madam, certainly!" 

"Yon shameless man!" cried the excited 
lady, in a choking voice 

A sense of the absurdity of the whole thing, 
now struck Claude, who, with the first inclina- 
tion for humor that had visited him for many a 
day, now arose, and setting Imogene upon her 
feet, presented her to her mother, and said, 

" Mrs Summer field, let me crave your con- 
gratulation? for my betrothed wife Madame La 
Duchesse De Vellemonte !" 

Tue lady had "?een very red before, she now 
grew deadly white a look of unutterable sor- 
row chased every expression of anger from her 
face, and gazing on them both with profound 
pity, she said, in a voice full of grief 

" Ah, my God ! I see it all now ! God knows 
that they have both gone mad !" 

Smitten with compunction for the pain he had 
given her, Claude Vellemonte took her hand in 
the most respectful manner, and said 

< Mrs. - Summerfield ! mother my honored 
mother! I am neither mad nor guilty, nor is 
your daughter, whose faith in me, was to her 
knowledge. What I say to you, only requires 
your consent and blessing, to make it truth ! 
You knew before that I was the son of the ban- 
ished Duke Do Vellemonte, who; during the 
Reign of Terror, became a refugee in this coun- 
try, and died at St Joseph's ; you know that 1 
obeved his dying will rather than followed my 
own vocation, in entering the priesthood ; you 
know he chose this life forme because he thought 
the patrimonial title and estate forever gone; 
and because hie last days were characterized by 
extreme religious devotion. Three years ago 1 
found that I loved Imogene too well to make a 
good priest. I struggled desperately with this 
feeling, until I discovered that Imogene loved 
me. I struggled with it then no longer, but, as 
I was yet scarcely entered upon my clerical du- 
ties, I wrote to Rome a history of the whole 
matter, praying our Most Holy Father a dispensa- 
tion from my vows, but leaving my destiny en- 
tirely in his hands, expressing the fullest dis- 
position to resign myself to his will. While 
I was making this appeal from America, some 
of my father's old friends, who had gained tbe 
high favor of the Emperor, remembered 'he 
exiled son of their banished friend, and exerted 
their interest for me The end of both their m- 
tercession and my petition was, that six weeks 
ago two packets arrived for me, one from Paria, 
containing dispatches that re-invested me with my 
late father's title and estates, and recalled me to 
Paris ; and the other, comprising a dispensation 
from my priestly vows -that dispensatkn to 
take effect after vesper hour on Easter- Sunday 
evening." 



Then , turning to Miss Summerfield, he said 
^Irnogene; my child, did I anticipate the date 
of this dispensation by an hour?- did I not 
faithfully pay the uttermost farthing of my duty, 
even in the trial of * earing thy enforced an-i ex- 
piatory confession ? Did I ever, by word or 
look, offend thee? I heard thy confession, Imo- 
gene, because, my child, my approaching dis- 
pensation did not wipe from thy soul the pin of 
sacrilege you committed in loving a priest and 
because that penance was laid upon thee by thy 
Father Confessor, and obedience to thy spiritual 
guide, was necessary. When i absolved thee of 
thy sin, Imogene, I could not assure to thee a 
compensation for thy sufferings, for that would 
have then been a breach of the vows which 
bound me until evening. But when 1 saw thee 
so meekly resigned to give up all the pleasures 
of the earth, and in the seclusion of the convent 
expiate thy error by devoting thyself to God 
I could and did say, in the words of Cdnst 
'Verily I say unto thee that no man hath left 
house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mo- 
ther, or wife, or children, or lands tor my sake, 
and the gospel's ; but he shall receive &n hun- 
dred fold now in THIS TIME hou&es, and bre- 
thren, and sisters, anci mothers, and children, 
and lands with per*ecutious ; and in the v orld 
to come, eternal life !' But oh ! thou faithless 
and despairing child, thou did'st not bind i< to 
thy bleeding heart. It was my faith, mv Imo- 
gene, that saved thee. Ah, Imogene's mot' er ! 
I have a vocation for the priesthood ! Heaven 
doth truly know that 1 have ! But not for its 
necessary celibacy I have too large a hi man 
heart for that and had this great tide of r-atu- 
ral affections been turned back upon my heart, 
it would have become a burning and coonurnircg 
fire, that would have dried up all tbe milk- of 
human kindness in my nature ; all the bio; d in 
my veins; all the flesh on my bones; and tiije 
fine, vital temperament o-f mine, that enables 
me to do so much for others more feeble would 
have changed. In body I should have grown 
bilioun, sallow, thin, and leathery ; and the luin 
of mind and soul would have been still greater. 
I should have become bigotted, fanatical, asce- 
tic, harsh, given to persecution. Those few 
cruel priests whom history records as stand-ing 
reproaches to the boly mother church 5 were con- 
scientious men, of ardent temperaments, whose 
strong natural affections, turned back from their' 
natural course upon the heart and brain, became 
furious fires, exciting them to deeds of cruelty? 
for such men must LIVE, must feel their LIFE, if 
not in human loves, why then in human, or ra- 
ther, in fiendish hates, and in the excitement 
that scenes 01 blood afford ! History has dealt 
severely with them, because philosophy has not 
revealed them. No, Mrs. Summern>id, all men 
are r:ot fit tor the priesthood, nor all women for 
the cloister, who rashly enter th" one or the 



160 



SHANNONDALE. 



other. I said I had a vocation for the pne^t- 
hood. but not for the celibacy. Understand me. 
The secular duties of the priesthood, and of the 
Sisters of Mercy, nre incumbent upon every son 
and d*ug,iter of God on earth! The ministry 
to th sick, the poor, sinful, and the prisoner, are 
some of them ; for these 1 have a special mis- 
sion, and am especially endowed ; for no amount 
of *irs, disease or suffering has power to disturb 
my health, cheerfulness, faith, or hope ; there- 
fore I can impart from the fullness of these 
blessings to those who have need ; and therefore 
these secular duties of the priesthood, while I 
live, will I perform in obedience to the text 
< Freely have ye received freely give.' " 



CHAPTER XLV. 

WINNY. 

Courage ! you travel through a darksome cave, 

But ^till as nearer to the light you draw, 
Frerh gale* will meet you from the upper air, 
And whol- sonic dews of heaven your forehead lave, 

And darknesr* lighten more till full of awe, 
You stand in the open sunshine, unaware. 

R. C French. 

Winny Ardenne ! have you lost sight of that 
get tie sufferer, reader? is she forgotten, be- 
cause, in the noise of violent and conflicting 
passion*, and the shock of sudden and tragic 
events, the still music of her gentle life is un- 
he i ? She is not forgotten by any one near 
her. Mrs, Summerfield, ainid her heavy domes- 
tic dais, and Imogeiie, in her suffering, had still 
room in their hearts for Winny. Tbe old 
lady, who, now that her affections were satisfied 
wit the pjresence of her " baby," had fallen into 
thai still, smiling, blissful dotage, beautifully 
termed ^ second childhood," that state which 
is reither quite of earth, nor quite of heaven, but 
seems a happy lingering of the soul between 
both that loving, lovely close of a long and 
good earthly career, which is not death, but an 
easy, gentle translation of the soul to God the 
old lady was Winny's constant companion. 
Those three children, 1 mean grandmother, 
Winny, and baby, occupied one room at Red- 
Stone, and Gelly waited on them. Claude Vel- 
lemonte often came to visit and cheer them. In 
Winny, indeed, he found a special object for his 
life Diving mission, and he devoted himself to 
her with all his cheerful and hearty faith, hope, 
and charity. Perhaps no one in the world be- 
sidos Claude Vellemonte, could have minister- 
ed" so successfully to this heart and mind dis- 
eased." He had awakened Winny's dormant re- 
ligious affections, strengthened her faith, and re- 
vived her hopes; and with that great hygeian ge- 
nius whose possession had acquired for him, 
among his more simple minded parishioners, the 



reputation of miraculous power he had even 
very much improved her physical health. 

" Hydropathy and Mesmerism the two great 
ministers of health, happiness and life were 
Divinely pre-figured in the religious ordinance of 
Baptism, and the Laying on of Hands," said a 
Divinely-inspired man, himself " an example of 
hia own fair creed." 

When Claude Vellemonte had succeeded in 
scattering that burning spot in Wicny's breast, 
left by the old wound when he had raised her 
spirits, and she was no longer suffering from 
pain, or "numbed" by despair, he toid her that 
she must return to her father's house, and take 
her station daily by his sick bed ; and Winny> 
who ever obeyed his voice, as though her Sa- 
viour had spoken by his lips, got into a carriage 
with her grandmother and her baby, and made 
old Nerve " burst out a-crying" with joy, by 
getting out of it at the door of Oak Grove Hall. 
Claude Vellemonte had more than one good rea- 
son for directing this move, to explain which, I 
must go back a little. 

It had not been deemed safe by his physicians 
to inform Squire Darling of the fate of Sina for 
some weeks, although for many reasons, known 
only to himself, he seemed darkly to suspect it. 
When at last the manner of her d p .ath was made 
known to him, he received the news very quiet- 
ly, merely saying, to himself " Yes yes yes 
yes insanity was hereditary in one branch 
of her mother's family her uncle died in the 
lunatic asylum, and one of her aunts died of a 
brain fever!" Then he turned his face to the 
wall, and spoke no more for hours. All that 
day and night he refused both food and drink, 
and from that time he sank into deep gloom. 

" Shall I never, never be happy again ?" said 
the miserable man, as he tossed and tumbled 
about, among the bed clothes and pillows. 

Old Nerve, who was sitting comfortably in a 
large, soft arm-chair, before the fire, in her ca- 
pacity of nurse, and occupying herself with 
toasting her fat feet, and looking at the pictures 
in a splendidly bound Bible a copy utterly for- 
bidden to vulgar fingers, on account of its nplen- 
dor now turned her head, and took a long, ex- 
ceedingly self-complacent look at her master. 

Shall I never, never see another happy 
day?" groaned the now feverish and excited 
man. 

Never, sr ! never ! sartain as you're a libra' 
sinner, 'til you 'solves that farm, as I telled you 
'fore ! 'til you 'solves that farm o> Debil Dar- 
lin> & Oompiny. The < Compiny' o* the farm is 
gone, praised be my blessed 'Deerner ! and 
ttiat ougf t for to be a warnin' to you." 

Who spoke to you, you in ' faltered the 
squire, checking, for the first time in his life, a 
profane word upon his tongue. 

" Nobody didn't sar, chile, but the spirit o' 
the Lord, an' < Woe is me if I preaches not the 






SHANNONDALE. 



gospel.' Can't help of it, marster, chile, ef you 
does git mad can't, indeed, honey 'caze I 
talks to you iur your own good, an' I tells you 
again, you won't never be happy on this blessed 
fruitful yeth 'til you breaks long o' Sam, an' 
sets out to sarve your 'Vine Marster an' Lord, 
as any ole gemlum as has come to your time o' 
life ought for to do !" 

Oh, oh, oh!" groaned the poor man, tossing 
about bis arms. 

"Yes, honey ! I hopes you's groanin' for your 
sin;) Meed I does." 

Oa! oh! oh!" 

" Yes, chile, that's right ! I hopes you'g 'gider- 
in' now how you's made other people groan 
'deed I does, chile !" 

You infernal oh ! oh !" 

Ah, Lord, see that, now ! when I'm a-pro- 
phecying of the Bible to him for his own good, 
but that's always the way Sam's children 
talks to the Lord's little ones ! ef he had the 
power this blessed minute, he'd heave somethin' 
at my poor ole head, and split me down ! but, 
praised be my blessed Marster, he ain't got the 
power; he done stretch out there, an' 'blige 
for to hear the truffe now, ef he turned a def 
year to it all his life before. An' I gwine give 
it to him good!" said Nerve, in a tone of 
determination, being in the full knowledge that 
her master was entirely in her power wonder- 
fully strengthened to preach the Gospel. "Don't 
you know, you poor ole sinner, as he who 'fends 
one of the Lord's little ones, had better have a 
maelstrome strung around his neck, and be hang 
ed to the top o' the trees ? an' ain't / one o' 
the Lord's little ones as you're 'fendin' of ? 
Ain't this here parsecution?" 

Here a pillow was launched at her head from 
the hands of the enraged squire, .who instantly 
fell back, exhausted with the effort. Nerve 
to'8-s.ed up the whites o-f her eyes, and, crossing 
h-erself devoutly, ejaculated, 

" Oh, may the Lord 'give this poor ole forsok 
sinner, and lead him to 'pentance, and not cut 
him off in his sins. / 'gives you, ole marster, 
chile, 'deed 1 does ; I 'gives you, an' I pities of 
you ; an' 1 heaps coals o j fire on your head !" 

Oh ! oh ! oh !" 

"They burns, doea they?" 

"You'll kill me!" 

No, I won't, honey ; I "pities of you ! 'deed I 
does, chile, an' I takes all your deblish ways in 
good part!" 

" Do, oh, do hush oh ! talking" 

" I can't, chile ; I can't, indeed, honey! I'm 
a talkin' to you for your own good ! 'deed, 'fore 
my 'Vine Marster I am, chile ! I'm a settin' of 
your sins afore you. This is the fuss chance as 
ever I had in all my life, o* doin' of it, an' it 
miy be the las', so 1 gwine to 'prove it, an' 
give it to you #0orf 'deed I is, chile!" 

"I'll oh! oh! Pit " groaned the highly 
14* 



161 

feverish man, tossing about wildly among the 
sheets, and grasping crazily at the pillows. 

" Well, do t honey ! Yes, ole marster, do heave 
the other pillow at my head; do, chile, ef it 
easea of your poor ole conscience any; an' the 
bolsters, too, honey, an* the counterpane, an' 
the sheets, chile, ef it makes you feel any bet- 
ter 'bout the heart ; dough, ef it don't, 'haps 
you'd better not tire of yourself." 

"Oh! oh! I shall 1 gnall go distracted!" 
cried the ick man, with the rising strength of 
fever. 

Yes, ole marster, honey, you may kick and 
strain (plunge, struggle,) as much as you please, 
an' fling your arms an' legs about in that OB- 
decent manner, as no gem man ought for to do 
afore a lady, but you can't get out'n that bed to 
do nobody no harm, praised be my blessed Lord, 
BO you's got for to have your sins set afore yoa 
good 'deed you has, honey ! I ain't a gwine fur 
to tell you how you stormed, and ruv, and druv 
your 'spectable ole mother in a paralyplectic 
stroke, and how you hev the hand-iron at irvy 
head, 'cause all that's writ down in the jiioi^s 
'count book 'gin you ; an' I ain't a gwine to say 
a singly word 'bout you runnin' arter Marse Ed- 
gar like a tearin mad bull to gore him through 
the body, an' 'bout your heavin' of a sword at 
Miss Winny, the blessed baby ! an' a smashin' 
of her innocen' little breas'." 

" My God ! oh, who will deliver me " 

Yes, marster, chile, groan, honey, it's good 
for your poor 'mortal soul : groan for your on- 
dutiful behavement to your own dear chile, as 
you mortally wounded fuss, an* then starved an* 
friz' into a 'sumption, an' then tore away from 
^ier husban' an' broke her heart ! Ah, my Lor', 
I wonder what her mother, Miss Angelly, up in 
Heaven., thought when she looked d-own from 
Heaven an' saw how you were sarvin' of her 
orphan gal " 

"Oh! oh! for God's sake Winny !" cried 
the tortured sufferer, beginning to wander in his 
mind. 

" No, I'se not a gwine to say any thin' 'bout 
that, 'cause that's writ down underneath of the 
other. An' I ain't a gwine to ay nothin' 'bout 
your takin' to drink, an' fetchin' a 'grace on 
your colored people, till we wur all 'shame j to 
tell anybody who we 'longed to !" 

" Winny ! Winny ! my child ! my child ! put 
her out /" raved the tormented man, floundering 
violently. . 

" No more ain't I a 'gwine for to say nothin' 
'bout your kickin' of poor ole Kill down stairs, 
'cause every body knows how Sam made you do 
that, and blessed be my 'Vine Saviour, it didn't 
kill him ; 'sides which, when you sarved my 
dear ole angel so, it seemed like a pilm' up of 
your measur' of wickedness, for the Lord didn't 
let you do a singly thing else, but gU7 you right 
to de debil, an' here you is, you see! 1 ' 



162 



SHA NNONDALE. 



" Winny, my child f I Fin burning wp !" 

"Is your pillows hot? A i, marster, chiJ 
they isn't half KS hot as you know where 
is?" 

" Oh ! oh ! 1m in flames, %nd a fiend tor 
ments me ! ' 

" Now, sure as he is a livin' tinner, he thinks 
a* tie is in that there, and that 1 m waaiV 
name ! ! See the 'f? cts o' a guilty conscience ; 
but he knows what I'm a say in' of well enough; 
kem. ! htm ! but marster, honey, what I's bound 
for to set 'fore you in its proper cullers is this 
fare: your ondut ful behavement to your own 
dear chile. Jes' now you was a makin' of a 
great 'mount 'bout your not bein' happy how 
can you 'spect to be happy when you've done 
hev all your happ'ness away ? The Lord give 
you plenty o' happ'ness, an' you hev it all out'n 
doors ; an' now you talk 'bout bein' happy as il 
you 'served to, an' as if you thought your 'Vine 
Marster an' Lord (so Nerve was very fond of giv- 
ing; her master a master in his turn,) hadn't no 
other sarvints to 'vide for 'sides you, an' hadn't 
nothin' else to 'tend to but bakin' o' frosted 
cakes o' happ'ness, an' sendin' of 'em down on 
waiters for you to heave out'n the windy ! Lord ! 
how happy you 'serves for to be, any how! 
Ole marster, I say, listen to me now, an' stop a 
kickin' about in that ungemmanly manner ; it's 
rale ondecent, 'sides which, it'll tear the sheets, 
o it take me a week for to mend them, 'cause, 
you know, I ain't as young as I use for to be, no 
jnore an' you, though praised be my Heavenly 
Lord, I thinks I'se led a more 'spectable life 
.isten to me now, fur I am 'bout to tell you a 
piece of righteous, Gospel truffe, an' you must 
hear to it an' cot let it be a heavin' of pearls 
afore swine! Listen, then! You 'pends upon 
your 'Vine Lord to make you happy other.peo- 
ple 'pends upon you to make them happy. Now 
this is Gospel : You won't never be no happier 
yourself till you trif.s for to make them as ' 'pends 
vn. you for happiness, happy ! 'fore my blessed 
Heavenly Judge won't you, if it wur the last 
word I had to speak on the yeth ! An' them as 
'pends 'tirely pon you for happ'ness is no stran- 
gers an' ailings (aliens), but your own dear 
neart's chile, Miss Winny, an' that there poor 
motherless boy, Marse Edgar, as you druv off 
in the dead o' winter to the Devil's Icy Peak 
or some place ; an' now what you has got to do, 
if you wants your poor ole sinful soul save', is 
this here: jes' sen' for Marse Edgar .back from 
out yonder an' giv' him a lif ' in the world, as an 
hones' daddy-in law as has broke 'long o' Sam' 
nn' st out for to sarve his 'Vine Marster in his 
ole days, ought for to do. 'Deed, I think Pse a 
'jtample to you ! It hurted my heart, when the 
gal I fetched up, fetch a 'grace on we-dem by 
heavin' of herself away on a poor white man's 
son ; but see what I does ! Why, I ez, 'what's 
done can't be ondone n' I 'gives the poor mo- 



therless boy, 'cause he loved my baby any how,, 
an' my baby's heart was wrapped up in him, 
An', 'deed, 1 never did think myself so very 
much 'bove the young man, a* a person might 
s'pose; an' ef he wur for to come back an' 'have 
himself as he ought for to do, I'd give him all 
the 'couragement in my power. Sure we are 
all poor creturs, an' ekel in the sight o' the 
Marster, un' so if he comes back un' 'havea him- 
self, 1 don't care what anybody says, I'll 'cou 
rage the young man ! 

" Ar-r-r-r-r-h ! ar-r-r r-r-h ! ! ar-r-r r-r-h ! ! ! 
he's a murderin' of me ! Ar-r-r-r-r-r-r-r ! ! ! !" 
yelled old Nerve, in the strong grasp ot the 
fever- maddened man, who with the new and ter- 
rible strength of delirium, had suddenly sprung 
from his bed, dragging the sheets behind him, 
and seized his tormentor by the nape of her neck. 
" Ah-r-r-r-r-r-r-r ! ! ! !" yelled Nerve, once more 
extricating herself an instant from his strang- 
ling fingers. " Oh ! praised be my 'Vine Mars- 
ter. Mr. Vellemonte ! is you corned at last," 
exclaimed she, running for shelter into the arms 
of Claude Vellemonte, who had just then hurried 
into the room at the sound of shrieks ; " he's f 
he's got larum-terrors ! (delirium-tremens ;) he's 
got larum-terrors! he's got larum-terrors, as 
use for to follow of him when he was a drinkin' 
man as sure as he's a livin' sinner, he's got 
larum-terrors !" 

Has he been taking any alcoholic spirits ?" 
asked Claude Vellemonte, when he had succeed- 
ed in getting him back to bed, and composing 
him. 

"Sir?" 

"Has he been drinking!" 

Oh, Lor' I no sir ; not a drap no, sur f On'y 
I was a settin' of his duty afore him, and he her 
himself into a passion long o' me, an' fetch on 
this here." 

What were you doing ?" 

" A-settin' of his sins afore him, an' a-proph*- 
cyin' o' the Bible to him as a faithful sarvint 
,ught for to do." 

" And you raised his fever and frenzied him 
Nerve, do you want to kill your master?" 

Me, kill him ! Lor' forgive you, Mr. Velle- 
monte I why, I'm the bes' frien' he's got in the 
worl', an' the truest I war'n't we too fotch up 
together like brother an' sister me an* ole 
marster ? Me, want to kill him !" 

" But you will certainly kill him, if you worry 
him so." 

"I was a preachin' of the gospel to him, sur!" 

"But as I have warned yon before you 
have no mission, no vocation, for that work." 

"Sur!" 

Noae*,then." 

"Yes, sar yes wocation yes, that's the 
most genteelest word ; nack is rale, down low, 
poor, white people's talk ; wo what'i it, mars- 
er?" 



SHANNO^DALE. 



163 



\'ocation." 

Wocation ! yea thanky, sir ! yes I'll re- 
memberize it!" 

You must remember also, not rashly to han- 
dle holy things, as you do. Nerve, you are a well- 
meaning woman, if we except a slight vein of 
sly malice ; and a sensible one, barring an over- 
weening self-esteem ; but you have certainly, 
nearly killed your master to-day, by preaching 
out of time and place. There is a time for all 
things/ said the wise man ; and the truth is to be 
spoken < in love,' said the apostle." 

"Yes, sir." 

"Now, if you will promise never more to 
speak until I give you leave, I will, on my side, 
promise, that before the year is out, you and 
Kill shall be free, with a little house, well fur- 
nished, and a little plot of ground, with a horse, 
a cow, pigs, and some poultry." 

The result of this affair, was, that Claude 
Vellemonte, on returning to Red-Stone Hall, had 
first sent Winny,. now somewhat recovered, to 
Odk G/ove; and then going to Sacred Heart, had 
dispatched Harriet Joy as general protector. 

But Claude Vellemonte had more than one mo- 
tive for sending Winny to her father, for though 
it was certain that the feeble-one could do no- 
thing in the way of nursing him or even sit by 
his bedside for any great length of time together, 
yet her attendance there was a duty, and her 
mere presence had a salutary effect upon the 
health of the invalid, and exercised a softening 
and redeeming influence upon the heart of the 
father. We know that when he first saw Winny 
after her illness his heart had melted, and his 
tears had fallen at the sight of his suffering 
child ; that he might then have been led to re- 
pent his harshness, had his thoughts not soon 
been monopolized by the corroding jealousies and 
anxieties of his absorbing passion for Sina; and 
hds judgment been unduly influenced by that 
wily girl, who knew, even amid their fierce 
quarrels, how to turn his anger against Edgur 
Ardenne, whom she ever artfully presented to 
him as a heartless adventurer, who had specula- 
ted upon his daughter's affections and his own 
wealth and influence. And our honest squire, 
who had less keenness of perception than vio- 
lence of temper and stubbornness of will, con- 
tinued to act upon that view of the case up to 
the time of the catastrophe. But now, undec 
the influence of the discipline of Sina Hinton's 
awful death, and his own prolonged illness, could 
he lay there on his bed of slow convalescence, 
and not be led to den reflection on the past* or 
couid he turn his eyes to where his daughter sat 
in her arm-chair by his bedside and see his pale, 
luffering, but uncomplaining child, heart-broken 
by his own harshness, and not wish to bind up 
that broken heart, and, if possible, to give it 
happiness ? 



CHAPTER XL VI. 

THE MAIDEN'S INTERCESSION. 

The quality of mercy is rot strained ; 
It droppeth as the sent'e rain from Heaven 
Upon the place beneath : It is tw ce blessed ; 
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes ; 
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest ; it becoaaes 
Tae throned monarch belter than his crown. 
****** 
Though justice be thy plea, consider this 
That in the course of justice none of us 
Should see salvation : We do pray for mercy; 
And that same prayer doth teach, u- all to render 
The deeds of mercy. SkaAspeare. 

How quiet it was in the sick room on Easter 
Tuesday morning. A small, bright fire was 
burning in the grate at the same time that for 
the weather was dry, clear and pleasant the 
windows were slightly raised and the blinds 
partly open to let in the fresh and " sunny air." 
They had done breakfast and the room was 
made very tidy and cheerful, and the now rapid 
iy recovering invalid, newly shaved and refresh. 
ed, sat in bed propped up with pillows. The old 
lady placidly smiling to herself, reposed in an 
easy chair by the fire. While Winny sat by her 
father's bedside with her baby sleeping on her 
lap, as though she had forgotten to lay it down; 
she was looking at her baby in a pensive, half- 
abstracted manner. She was silent, patient and 
serete as ever, she bad fallen into one of her 
reveries, and did not know that her father's 
eyes, full of mournful affection, were gazing on 
her. Her thoughts were far away. He leaned 
over and supporting his head upon his hand, 
while he rested on his elbow, stretched his 
other hand out, and laying it affectionately on 
her pale, golden hair, said, 

"Winny, my child!" 

She looked up. 

" What are you thinking of, my dear child ?" 

She dropped her eyelids, and two large tears 
rolled slowly down her cheeks. 

" Winny, my child, have you ever heard from 
Edgar since he went away 1" 

Now the tears streamed. 

" Say, Winny ! I have a reason for asking 
you, my love." 

A suffocating sob of 

No never never once," was the almost 
unintelligible answer. 

Did you love him so dearly then, Winny ?" 

Her sobs grew now hysterical she leaned hei 
face down upon the side of the bed. 

Don't cry, Winny, my dear, don't cry !" 

But Winny sobbed the more. 

Don't cry, Winny, don't ! Affairs are not so 
desperate as you think may-be, child ! Don't 
cry so much !" 

Father ! let me it is the first time I've 



164 



SHANN ONDALE 



led a tear since he went away! You called 
him < Edgar' iindly and that that touched 
my heart- and and let me cry !" sobbed Wra- 
ny . convulsively, while the poor father, who could 
not guess the good this great thaw of congealed 
i was doing her fretted and fumed. As soon 
as Wmny could speak she commenced again, and 
bet een broken sobs said, 

Father ! forgive not kim t for he was not to 
blame, but ww, for it was my fault ! 1 loved 
him so much, so much, so much, lather! fa- 
ther, forgive me bless and dismiss me, that I 
may go and seek him !" 

" Seek him, poor child, do you know where he 
is '/" 

No, father, but God will lead me to him!" 

You ! you, poor, thin, pale thing, that pant 
when you come up stairs." 

"God will strengthen me, father! Give me 
your blessing and let me go!" 

" Wouldn't it be better to bring Edgar back 
here ?" 

" Ah ! father, if you would if you would 
you would make me so, so happy ! but, oh ! fa- 
ther ! how will you find out where he is ?" 

"1 know where he is!" 

You, father ! you know where he is ! Oh ! 
father, if you do indeed, for the blessed loving 
Saviour's sake, tell me ! tell me !" 

" He in in the wilds of the North- West Terri- 
tory, living a hunter's life." 

" And you will' bring him back ? Oh, father, 
you will make your only child happy ! you will 
bring him back !" 

1 do not know, my child, just yet, I'll see !" 
replied the iquire, who found magnanimity a 
new and exceedingly difficult lesson to practice. 

" Oh ! father, you have my life and death in 
your hands give me life !" 

Wmny, my child, hope all things this 1 
will tell you for your comfort. I took you from 
Pine Cliffs and permitted Edgar Ardenne to leave 
the State, brokea-hearted, because I was justly 
incensed against you both, and wished to punish 
you both, as well as to try him to test his fkieli 
ty and integrity. I wasn't sure he was. alto- 
gether evil. Though I disliked him so much, 
that I cared not the toss up of a penny whether 
lie stood the test or not, yet in the event of his 
standing it, 1 was full determined to bring him 
back to yon. I was compelled to be silent as 
the grave about it, and even act a malignity 1 
did not always feel, in order to blind people to 
my thoughts, and give my test a fair chance to 
work. Well, I never lost sight (morally speak- 
er Ardenne for one hour aU^r he Mr 
or for ore hour since you know who left 
in bis compiny. 

" No, sir." 

W,liie Smilie, Hettie's couiin, and I wrote to 
him, and have b-en in secret correspondence 
with him ever since." 



< Oh, father!' 

" It is absolutely necessary, mv desr ! A pen- 
niless man who carries off an heiress is an object 
of suspicion, and must be submitted to a severe 
test before confidence may be safely reposed in 
him. Well! 1 am happy for your sake, Winny, 
to say that h* has stood the test he has b en. 
true even to the severe condition that obliged 
him not to seek a re-union with you." 

" Father, father ! you compelled him to make 
that promise?" 

< ; Yes! and then 1 was in earnest my more 
merciful thought was an after thought. Well, 
Winny, he hag stood the severe test, and so, as 
the devil himself can't unmake him your hus- 
band, the father of my grandchild, and my own 
son-in-law perhaps mind, I say perhaps -I'll 
some day write for him to come home." 

" And 1, father, will never cease to pray you 
to do so until 1 see my prayers of no avail, and 
then, with my baby in my arms, I Will go and 
seek him." 

While this scene was taking place above stairs, 
another was transpiring below. " Monsieur Le 
Due De Vellemonte" had ridden over to Oak 
Grove, and asked for Harriette Joy, who still 
remained there as a temporary acting mistress 
of the house. The news of his change of cir- 
cumstances had preceded him in a note carried 
by a messenger from Red Stone, who, every 
morning, was dispatched to inquire after the 
squire's amendment. 

Claude De Vellemonte was' closeted with Har- 
riette Joy, and his manner was very serious and 
her eyes were red with weeping. He had been 
confiding to her Sina's whole secret history. 
When he h^d finished, he said, 

" And now, knowing that when we bad sup- 
posed him to be getting well, the nevrs of Miss 
Hinton's fate threw him back so dangerously, I 
have been, up to this time, tearful of opening up 
the subject fo Squire Darling again; fraught 
with so much pain as the story of her perfidy 
must be. Still, in justice and in mercy to Winay 
and Edgar Arderme, he ought very quickly to 
know how those children were betrayed into 
marriage by another's artful misrepresentations." 

" You may tell him with safety no^v, I think ; 
at least it is not right longer to delay," said 
Harriette, wiping her eyes, and resuming her 
cheerfulness. " I will go up and inform him that 
you are here." 

And she went. 

Yes," said Squire Darling, let him come 
in!" and soon after, Claude entered the sick 
chamber. 

"I suppose 1 may be permitted to congratulate 
you upon the happy change in \our circumstan- 
ces, Monsieur Le Due De Vellemonte," said the 
squire, gruffly in tb* -tone "f <k l s'psse you 



SH ANNOND ALE. 



165 



think yourself a very important personage who 
the d 1 gave you leave to be any happier than 
any body else ?" 

Thank you, squire. Wish me joy of a hap- 
pier coming event my approaching union with 
your niece, Miss Su mm*: i field." 

Ah, indeed ! When is that to come off ?" 

Our marriage is delayed by circumstances 
over which you yourself have the greatest con- 
trol. Your own restoration to health, and par- 
don me the re-union of Winny and Edgar Ar- 
denne." 

" Father Vellemonte ! I beg your forgiveness, 
Monsieur Le Due 1 am not because 1 happen 
to have been ill grown feeble as a child, to be 
tutored by all around me !" said the squire, in 
an irritated tone; for like all other rather weak- 
minded persons, he was very much afraid of ha- 
ving it supposed that he could be influenced. 

" I do not presume to wish to tutor you, my 
good sir j 1 have only certain revelations to make 
that will throw a new light upon that affair of 
the elopement." 

" Revelations ! Humph ! it seems to me that 
you have become a book of Revelations !" 

" Are you strong enough to hear a somewhat 
tedious story ?" 

" Don't know, indeed, Father Vellemonte 
beg your pardon, Monsieur Le Due !" 

" I will make it short as possible, then," said 
Claude, with unruffled serenity, and forthwith 
commenced giving him the whole history of the 
runaway match. 

Squire Darling listened with unusual self- 
command, only ejaculating " Humph !" and 
Ah !" at certain points. He showed not 
much pain at the discovery of Miss Hin ton's 
perfidy : for, in reality, his quandom passion for 
Sina was of that nature which required the pre- 
sence of its object to excite it ; and now, be- 
tween the loss of her presence and his own ill- 
ness, it became to him only as the memory of a 
severe fever. He listened to this secret history 
with some degree of satisfaction. He began to 
feel a wish, and, indeed, a positive necessity of 
recalling Ardenne, and he wanted very much a 
plausible excuse for relenting. A feeling more 
lively than this mere satisfaction, an emotion of 
generous regret, and a wish to compensate the 
boy and girl he had so deeply injured, crossed 
his mind, and impelled him to exclaim, 

" By Heaven ! there are not reams of paper 
enough in all Jefferson county for me to write 
to Edgar on!" but instantly, angry with him- 
self for this escapade, he relapsed into more 
than usual suller.nfiss of silence, and heard the 
story to an end with a solitary " Humph!" at its 
conclution. Then, when, after silently await- 
ing his comments for awhile, Claude ventured to 
inquire concerning his probable course of action, 
he said, importantly, 

"This matter requires mature deliberation, 



Father Vellemonte I beg your pardon, Mon- 
sieur Le Due I" 

I am afraid, reader, you do not do half justice 
to the goodness that dwelt in Harriette Joy'i 
merry heart. She was waiting on the steps for 
Claude when he came down. 

" And so you could get nothing out of him,*' 
she said, when Claude had told her the result of 
his visit. 

He takes time for mature deliberation." 

Yes! A judge taking time for mature deli- 
beration as to whether he will pardon, or not, 
and when, and how far, while the culprits are 
bound upon the rack- This must be put a stop 
to ! I will go myself and talk to him ! He is 
fond of me. I will go and coax him." 

"Do not go, my dear Harriette, to-day ; he is 
too much excited, and I am afraid of a return of 
fever, therefore / left him so suddenly- Go to- 
morrow morning, my dear child/' said Claude 
Vellemonte, squeezing Harriette's hand, and 
leaving her, 

"I will go up and stay with your father, 
Winny, dear, while you and grandmother 
(Harry, since coming to the house, had always 
affectionately called tiie old lady grandmother,) 
eat breakfast," said Harriette, the next morn- 
ing, and accordingly she ran up stair* and enter- 
ed the squire's room. He was up now, and 
seated in a crimson damask arm-chair by the 
fire. He was dressed in a blue velvet dressing- 
gown, and a many-colored Chinese night-cap. 
And by his side stood a nice little mahogany 
stand covered with a white cloth, and an elegant 
litle breakfast service for one pe-xson. Nerve 
was standing waiting on him. 

Will you take some breakfast, Mfiss Harry?" 
cheerfully inquired the squire. 

'Indeed, I'm afraid there's not enough for 
yourself," laughed Harriette. 

" I do not, in fact, know that there will be 
enough for two, since the second one is little 
Nimrod j indeed, I half repent my invitation 
say no. thank you,' Miss Barry !" 

" No, thank you, sir ; I came up only to wait 
on you. Nerve, go down and nurse the baby!" 

Nuss the baby ! I think its 'bout time I'd 
done o' that there," said Nerve, grumbling, but 
obeying. 

Harriette had chosen her time well when re- 
freshed by a good night's sleep, and by his bath, 
Squire Darling (i newly shaved fresh as a bride- 
groom," sat in his handsome dressing-gown and 
cap, in his large, easy chair, by the genial, bright 
fire, er joying all the creature comforts with the 
infinite, the ineffable gusto of a convalescent. 
Harry went at her innocent flattering with little 
tact. She buttered his buckwheats for him 
k<>pt alive the fire in the chafing-dish under bi* 
venison steak, and cut off the choice pieces ana 



166 



SHANN OND ALE. 



Itld on his plate. And finally after he had eaten 
and lingered long over a very hearty breakfast, 
he lighted hit meerschaum and handed to him 
rolling away the stand at the same time. But 
tf*n Harry, the transparent little hypocrite, sat 
down on a low stool close by his side, and lean- 
ing her elbows on the arm of his chair, rested 
ner chin upon the palms of both hands, and look- 
ing np in his face, very sweetly informed him 
that she loved the fragrant smoke of the meer- 
schaum better than any perfume in the world! 
Ah! Miss Harry! this coaxing and flattering an 
old gentleman of Squire Darling's kith, is not the 
wisest thing in the world as you will presently 
find to your cost. She liked tobacco smoke bet- 
ter than anything in the world ! The mendacious 
little sinner ! Squire Darling, himself, was not 
to be gulled by that very flimsy piece of deceit ! 
He took his pipe out of his mouth, and looking 
down at her with an affectionate archness, said, 

"God Almighty bless you, Harriette! you can 
no more play a part than the simplest infant!" 

Harriette dropped her eyelids, blushed deeply, 
and looked intensely mortified at the idea of 
being thought incapable of deceit. 

" Well, what is it, Miss Harry ? for, of course, 
all this wheedling means that you want some- 
thing of me ! 

" Yes, I do," said Harriette, in a low tone, 
but it was not for myself " 

"Of course it was not who ever heard of 
you're ever saying, doing, or thinking anything 
for yourself. God bless little Nimrod! How 
refreshing a good girl is," said the squire, pat- 
ting her black, curly haired head approvingly, 
/tnd stroking down her damask cheek. "Now 
what is it, Harriette, for, be sure, there is a 
good chance of your suit being gained there are 
few things I could refuse little Nimrod." 

"Then I wish, if you please I should be so 
thankful to you if you would would would not 
be so extremely hard-hearted and cruel to poor 
dear Edgar and Winny !" 

" Hard-hearted and cruel,' humph! Your 
manner of advocating a cause should- immorta- 
lize you as a diplomatist, Miss Harry !" dryly 
commented the squire. Well, I spose that's 
wholesome truth, and no flattery," he added, 
mentally then speaking aloud to Harriitte, he 
aid, " Well, what am I to do." 

Deal justly by them, sir !" 

"Humph! there it is again! no appeal to 
well ! it's well I'm inclined to favor her peti- 
tion," thought the squire, and then he said, 
And if I do, MUs Harry, what then ?" 

" Oh, sir ! they will be so very happy ?" 

" And I ?" 

Ob, sir ! never mind about you 

"The d 1." 

1 mean, sir, that there is nothing to disturb 
your happiness, and that we are not anxious on 
the ubject." 



Humph ! but I should be alone." 

" You would have the company of your daugh- 
ter and son-in-law, and their child, or children, 
sir!" 

Oh! my daughter and son-in-law they will 
be absorbed in each other and as for their 
child, or children ain't you ashamed, Miss 
Harry, by the way, to be speculating upon conse- 
quences ! 1 am not fond of babies." 

" Well, sir, at least you will have" 

I will have nothing ! " said the squire, " and 
the fact is, that I am not going to sacrifice my- 
self for undutiful children." 

Oh, sir ! you" 

"1 WON'T! D if I do!" exclaimed the 
squire, who was in one of his wilful moods, and 
wished to torment Harriette whose want ol 
diplomacy had certainly contributed to raise the 
present perverse spiric. 

No, d if I do !" repeated the squire. 

Harriette coaxed, entreated, wrung her hands, 
wept. 

No, d if I do !" was all the satisfaction 
she got. 

Harry renewed her coaxing, entreating, and 
weeping. In vain. 

No, d if 1 do !" was the finale. 

" Oh, mercy!" said Harriette, I tho-ight you 
had repented ; I thought you were going to re- 
form ! and here you are, as wicked as ever, and 
swearing as hard as ever !" 

" When the devil got gick, the devil a saint would be; 
When the devil got will, the devil a saint was he !" 

" Oh, indeed it is too shocking to hear you 
and I am going away, Squire Darling," said 
Harry, "more in sorrow than in anger," rising 
to depart. 

"Come back, little Nimrod thou almost 
persuadest me to be a Christian.' Come back, 
little girl." 

" No, Squire Darling, I will not come back 
you distress me too much!" said Harry, deeply 
wounded to see one who should be a father in 
Israel, acting and talking with so much irreve- 
rence and profanity. 

" Come back, little Nimrod ; I have somewhat 
to say to thee concerning Edgar and Winny !" 

" Well, sir!" said Harriette, returning 

" It seems to me, you have abandoned their 
cause very rashly," said the squire, who, after 
all, liked well to be coaxed by her. 

At it Harriette went again with all her might 
and main. 

"You say you love Winny, sir! Ah! you 
cannot I If you did, you would sacrificeany selfish 
feeling for her sake." 

Do you love Winny, little Nimrod ?" 

Ah, ask Winny if I do not, sir 1" 

Then you would be willing to do a great 
deal for her sake!" 

"Try me, sir!" 



SHANNONDALE 



it i in your power to make her happy !" 
How, sir ?" 

' By re-uniting her and her husband." 
" 1 guessed that much, sir, for that only would 
make her happy nothing else certainly would ! 
1 mean ho^s it in my power?" 

" You can purchase their pardon." 

How, sir ? I say again." 

" Will you promise to do anything I wish you 
to do if I promise to pardon them, and recall 
Edgar?" 

Yes, the Lord hears me ! I will, sir !" said 
the rash and unsuspicious girl. 

" Anything !" 

" Anything on earth, sir, in the range of my 
power." 

"Hem!" Come closer to me, Harriet. You 
are a dear, honest, large-hearted child ! How 
nice it would be to have you always here, and 
be sure that I should not have some fine fellow 
walking around, and carrying you off some day ! 
as was the case with Winny. Harriette, my 
dear," he said, stealing his arm around her 
waist , and drawing her up to his side "are you 
engaged ?" 

" Engaged, how sir ?" 

To be married, I mean!" 

No, sir." 

" Well, then, Harriette, it most assuredly is 
in your power to effect a reconciliation between 
me and Edgar Ardenne 1" caid he, giving her a 
squ^ez* 

"1 do not comprehend you, sir," observed 
Harriette, in a low voice, with a rising color. 

You do ! you little rogue !" giving her ano- 
ther squeeze. 

[ want to go to breakfast, Squire Darling \ 
said Harriette, flushing with embarrassment be- 
tween her disagreeable position and her dislike 
of hurting his feeiiags. 

* So you shall, in a moment; but you promised 
to be mediator between me and Edgar. 9 ' 

" Yes well ! if you want me to give you a 
ki^ why as it is you I'll give you two, if 
you'll only let me go now and carry some com- 
fort to Winny." 

" Ah ! Harriette, I want to marry you." 

" You are making fun of me, Squire Darling," 
said Harriette, growing pale. 

"I ! ave too earnest and sincere an esteem for 
you, Harriette, to { make fun' of you. I want 
you to promise yourself to me, on condition of 
my ynaking Edgar and Winny, whom you love, 
happv !" 

Harriette was silent. 

" Come, what do you say?" 

" I say you are not in earnest, Squire Darling; 
an ! that the conversation distresses me ex- 



: > Before Heaven, I am in earnest in what I am 
about to declare to you namely, that you shill 
never draw from me a pardon for these children, 



167 

until you promise to give me your hand in mar- 
riage and that as soon as you will give me that 
promise, I will dictate a letter that you shall 
write to Edgar Ardenne, recalling him to Oak 
Grove ! Come, will you be generous will you 
be magnanimous will you be self-sacrificing ?" 

To your own children, you will certainly be 
magnanimous, sir 1" 

" Will I ? Humph ! I never professed to un- 
derstand that branch of Ethics and I swear to 
you, that 1 will never grant your petition for 
their pardon, until you grant my petition for 
your hand." 

A profound sigh from Harriette, who dropped 
her head upon her bosom, was the only answer. 

And I say that the very hour you promise 
me your hand, 1 will write to Edgar. Come ! 
what do you say to th*t ?" 

" I say, sir, that I cannot see any good reason 
why their happiness should depend upon your 
possessing my hand," said Harry, looking down 
piteously at the threatened digits. 

What ! see no reason ? I'll tell you then J 
.If Winny and Edgar are re-united, I shall be 
very lonesome, and need a companion; and I 
want you." 

A deeper sigh from Harriette followed. 

All this time, with his arm around her waist 
he held her close to his side. 

" Come, Harriette, have you never heard the 
old ladies say, < It's better to be an old man's 
darling than a young man's slave?'" 

" No, sir ! I never heard any body but old 
gentleman say that! 

But you can't deny that it is better to be sn 
old man's darling than a young man's slave." 

" Yea, I can and do, Squire Darling, for in the 
latter case, at least, one might be able tf> love 
their muster, which would make the slavery 
sweet, you know; and then, sir, there i such a 
thing as being a yonng man's darling, and an old 
man's slave, which is not only very much more 
horrible, but very much more likely to be the 
case !" 

That is very severe ! Pray, what is your 
reason for thinking so ?" 

" That as a general thing there is too much 
sympathy between the young to permit them to 
tyrannize over each other much." 

" You think, then, it is impossible for a young 
woman really to love an elderly man well enough 
to marry him ?" 

' Nay ! I do not say so ; I only say it is im- 
possible for me. Let us drop the conversation, 
Squire Darling." 

" By no means, till you decide, for happiness 
or misery, the fate of Winny and Edgar, whom 
you profess to love so well f" 

Oa ! sir, you will not afflict me with this 
trial ! 

I swear to you, by everything good, great, 
and sacred, that I never, never, never will grant 



168 



SHANNONDALE. 



you a pardon for Kdar, till you have grant- 
ed my lint, and that I will write it the minute 
you do come, will you have me ?" 

I don't want you, Squire Darling !" 

"Neither do 1 wane to forgive Edgar! but 
come, if you'll marry me, I'll do it !" 

"I WONT!" iaid Harry, flinging away from 
him, and bouncing out of the door. She encoun- 
tered Winny on her way to the nursery Winny, 
pale, feeble, suffering, patient and her heart 
mote her I She had the power she, of giving 
instant happiness to that sufferer. Should she 
withhold it from her ? After all, it would make 
so many other people so very happy, and only 
herself uncomfortable. With one of her tudden 
and generous impulses, she bounced back into 
Squire Darling's room, .and stood before him, 
breathless, panting Squire Darling, I WILL!" 

That's a dear girl ! When ?" 

When Edgar Ardenne is once fairly recon- 
ciled with you, and established here in the 
house J" 

That's my generous girl ! Now draw that 
writing table up to me I will write immediate- 
ly to E^gar." 

" Squire Darling stop /" 

"'Stop,' hey? what? have you receded 
from your promise ?" 

" No, sir but before closing this agreement, 
it is proper for you to know " 

Well ?" 

That that that " 

"Weil, what?" 

1 used to like like like " 

" Somebody else better than you can ever like 
me. Is that it ?" 

f es, sir," murmured Harriette, in a low 
tone. 

"And that somebody else ? was ? well ! 
why don't you speak ?" 

Colonel Dangerfield." 

"Sink that fellow to perdition! he is cer- 
tainly my evil genius ! 1 wonder what there is 
about him so bedeviling ? He's a vain, fickle 
fellow ! all these young men are, Harriette 
there is no constancy in any of them, till they 
come to my years." 

Constancy," Harriette smiled to herself. 

He flirted with you desperately, Harriette I 
It was very wrong he ought not to have done 
it." 

We were both much to blame, sir ! I even 
more than him let it pass!" 

" Don't think of the blamed muzzle-mouthed 
coxcomb, Harry ! I am so glad Imogene jilted 
him for a Duke, which was exactly the trick he 
would have played her for a Duchess had he had 
the chance! Forget him, Harry! and think of 
the nice time you'll have with me ! Only just 
think of the hones, little Nimrod! You may 
break your neck on a different steed every day 
in the month!" 



I do not care for horsfs any more," said 
Harriette, who was now very pale and grave. 

" Don't care for horses any more f By the 
way, certainly I 1 believe you have not ridden 
out, or joined a hunt since Imogene returned 
from school, and Dangerfield, confbunded him, 
left off riding with you ?" 

No," said 'darriette. 

" Well ! never mind ! draw that writing table 
up to me, and do you go and tell Winny to pre- 
pare to receive her husband, as itoon as a letter 

can reach Fort C , and Edgar Ardenne 

travel back." 

Harriette obeyed, and then escaped from the 
room, and running to Winny's nursery, caught 
her to her own beating heart, and breathlessly 
pressed her there. 

"Why what is the matter, dearest Har- 
riette?" 

Oh ! Winny ! Winny ! be happy, Winny ! 
be happy, or my heart will oreak ! for 1 have 
bartered all my days for your happiness !" and 
being on the very verge of hysterics, Harry broke 
suddenly away, and ran to her own room, to 
have a good cry, all alone. " It is all right," 
she said, " all right ! it is only I that am wrong. 
It is all right I see that as plain as can be. It 
is a social economy, that one so unconnected in 
the world as I am, should be disposed of for the 
good of others, who have fathers, and husbands, 
and children to be made happy. Miss Mattie 
used to gather up everything that was of no sort of 
use, such as waste paper and stray straws, and 
put them away, saying that they would do to 
kindle the fire with. That was ail right. So 
it is right that I, who am nothing but a piece of 
waste paper, should be used to light the fire on 
this domestic altar again. Pooh! am I, too, 
getting foolish, and talking in figures of speech? 
Is it such a calamity, Harry, to be sure of a 
pleasant home like Oak Grove, with such dear 
daily companions as Edgar and Winny, the old 
lady and the baby and and ugh ! well, yes 
Squire Darling, too if he'd only get his teeth 
filed." 



One month after this event, Claude Vellemonte 
and Imogene Summerfield wer united by Father 
Burleigh before the Al'ar of the Chapel of Sa- 
cred Heart ; the only witnesses being the mem- 
bers of the families of Red-Stone Hall and Oak 
Grove. It was thought most decoroi s, under 
the circumstances, to omit all the uaual wedding 
festivities, and so the bridal party returned 
quietly home to Red-Stone Hall, where they soon 
commenced preparations for sailing to France, 
to which country Mrs. Summer field promised to 
follow them at some future period. 



When Harriette Joy returned w<v Squire 
Darling, Winny, and the old lady fr Oak Grove, 



SH A N N OND ALE. 



169 






after witnessing the marriage, she found lette 
waiting for her It was post-marked Win 
cheater/' ;;r directed in a familiar hand Har 
riette's head swam, and her ty< s filmed over a 
instant, as she took it and sank into a chair t 
re&d it. ^%ien she had finished, the letter drop 
ped irom her hands, her face fell upon her palms 
ani quick tears trickled through her fingers 
Squire Darlirg was watching her. Now he laic 
aside his paper, took up the letter, and asked, 

"Harriette, what's the matter may I read 
this?" 

" Fes, sir, and answer it, please," and she 
wiped her eys s,nd erniied. 

Squire Darling turned the letter to read it. I 
was a long, long epistle, full of history, meta- 
physics, inner life,tascination, moral light, expla- 
nations, protestations, etc., for four closely written 
and crossed foolscap pages ; the object of it being 
to persuade Harriette Joy that Henry Lee Dan- 
gerfield, m:d all the vacillations of hi heart, 
turned at last to her, "true as the needle to the 
pole*," and ending with an offer of his hand and 
heart, imploring a speedy answer. Squire Dar- 
ling, with bis spectacles on his nose, and one 
short, fat leg crossed over the other, leaned back 
in his chair and read this lengthy piece of 
logic, passion and metaphysics, with many a 
Humph \". and HaP and "Fudge!" and 
Trumpery !" Then he folded up the letter and 
deposited it in his coat pocket, uncrossed his 
knees, took off his specs, and looking at Harri- 
ette, said, 

" Now, do you know what the vernacular of 
this grandiloquence is? Just this, Harry, my 
dear! As hs can't get Imogene, or hem! 
he'll take you! don't you see it?" 

" No, sir, I don't ! I think in his heart he liked 
roe better than either of the other two !" 

Oh ! ho, ho, ho, ho, ho ! women were made 
to be fooled !" 

" Well ! any how, it does not signify now t sir j 
don't let's talk about it!" 
But I am to answer this letter ?" 
Yes, sir, if you please." 
"What must I ?ay?" 

" Tell him / can't, you know, and anything 
you please." 
That's a wide margin I will." 

CHAPTER XL VII. 

A FAMILY REUNION. 



I cannot speak, tears so obstruct my words, 
And choke me with unutterable joy. Otway 

A hundred thousand welomes ! I could weep 
nd I could laugh I'm lignt and heavy WELCOME ? 

Shafcspeare. 



Two weeks passed agreeably enough to all the 
dwellers at Red-Stone Hall and Oak Grove. 
15 



Moi sieur and Madame de Vellermnte were yet 
at Red Stone. Harriette Joy still a- Oak Grove. 
Squire Darling, who never did anything by 
halves, either in the way of falling out or of ma- 
king up with a f rien 5, had availed himself of his 
first strength in this. tine June weather, to go on 
a journey to meet Edgar Ardenne, who was on his 
way returning from the West Sammie Srnilie was 
staying at Oak Grove, during the absence of the 
proprietor, as a sort of general supervisor of the 
premises,and protect >r of the women. HettieSmi- 
lie, the faithful companion of Winny in joy as in 
sorrow, was there also, up to her eyes in confec- 
tionary and pastry coooking. Hettie had her 
own little private joys, hopes and expectations 
had not her father sworn off from drinking ? 
was not Willie Smilie Cousin Willie, coming 
home with Edgar Ardenne ? and when he came, 
was not somebody to be married and go to house- 
keeping at that dear old Pine Cliffs, which was 
newly repaired and neatly furnished by Squird 
Darling? Ah! Hettie tripped about, thin-kint, 
this a very bright world after all is said ! Harri- 
e Joy was to be married when they returned, 
but no preparations for that event especially 
were on foot. It seemed to have been tacitly 
arranged that her wedding should come off 
quietly, and her position in the household be 
that of an upper housekeeper. And Harriette, 
who had no time to think about it, and no talent 
for making herself an object of compassion, never 
said a word ; but ran about very busy and merry, 
exhorting, commanding, entreating the servants, 
nd superintending a general cleaning, polishing, 
and embellishing the house, against Edgar came. 
The bloom of hope had returned to Winny'i 

heart, and the rose of health to her cheek; and 
f ever Harriette betrayed any emotion, it was 
>ne of pleasure, as she would stop in her flitting 

hither and thither, and catching Winny to her 

bosom, kiss her blushing cheek. She was so 

appy in Winny! One injunction she had laid 

>n Squire Darling with the force of a command 

that he should keep them advised of hi$ pro- 
gress towards home, and send a messenger a few 

hours in advance, so that Winny's fragile nerves 

might be shaken as little as possible. The squire 
tad promised this. 
At length, early one morning, as the old l&dy, 

Winny, Harriette and Hettie were sitting at 
ireakfast together, a horseman rode up to the 
ouse, and dismounting, entered the hall, and 
landed a letter to Harriette. It was from Squire 
)arhng, and ran thus 

VIRGINIA HOTEI.^ Winchester, June 15, 18 . 
My dear little sweet-heart 

It is dark, and we have 
ust this moment arrived here. I, Edgar, and 
tie whole party. I shall dispatch a fellow with 
his to-night to let you know that early to- 
morrow morning we set out for Oak Grove. 
We shall be with you by sunset. Have tea 
ready against we come. Have all the people 



170 



SHANNON DALE 



we like there to meet u*. Ki* mother, Winny, 
Hettie and the baby. Cuarge them to me, aad 
I'll py you -when I come. 

Yours, fondly and faithfully, 
L RED DARLING. 



- 



It wa evening. The setting sun was bathing 
th whole iky and earth in a flood *f crimson 
glory. In the supper-room at Oak- Grove stood 
a table covered with a rich, white damask cloth, 
et out with an elegant service of Sevres' por- 
celain, and a costly set of elaborately chased sil- 
ver plate, and illuminated by a large chandelier 
hanging from the ceiling above it, which was al- 
ready lighted. 

On the piazza stood one group of persons con- 
sisting of Father Burleigh, Claude Vellemonte, 
Imogene, Mrs. Summerfield, Harriette and Win- 
ny ; and another group composed of Miss Mattie 
Sinilie, Sammie and Hettie ; lower down, on the 
steps, sat Nerve, Kill and old Getty, while scat- 
tered about the lawn were the other domestics, 
all waiting, all watching the approach of a tra- 
velling carriage, attended by an outrider, and 
which was now very near the outer gate. Har- 
riete, with her arm around Winny'a waist, sup- 
ported her against her bosom, but, as the car- 
riage drew near the house, seeing that her charge 
had grown very pale, and feeling that she trem- 
bled fearfully, Harriette stooped and said, 



" Winny, my love, you must not receive him 
here in the midst of all these people, near and 
dear though they are. It would be too bad. Let 
me take you to your own room," and half leading, 
half carrying the nearly fainting girl, Harrieite 
left her in her chamber, and returned to the 
piazza in time to see Squire Darling alight from 
his carriage followed by Edgar Ardenne, Willie 
Smilie, and really that was too wicked in him 
Colonel Danger fif Id! 

Where where is Winny ?" inquired Squire 
Darling, looking around and shaking hands right 
and left, in which example he was followed by 
the others. "Where is Winny? I don't see her." 

"She is in her chamber,' replied Harriette, 
pale, but self-possessed. 

In her chamber I so best ; Edgar, my son, go 
seek her there it is the same old place, and 
Harry !" said he, turning, and taking Harriette 
by the hand, " Harry, come here! Danger- 
field!" Colonel Dangerfield stepped up. 
" Here she is take her I She is the very best, 
dearest child that God ever made or the sun ever 
shone upon take her!" said the cquire, with & 
red and tearful face, and-a voice trembling with 
emotion. " Love her ! She has taught me, by 
simple example and experience, a trite lesson, 
but a true lessonthat to be happy myself I 
must try to make other* happy blessed be 

God !" THB END 






THE 



MOTHEE'S RECOMPENSE; 



1 



TO 



HOME INFLUENCE. 



BY GRACE AGTJILAR, 




,. < 



NEW YORK: 

HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS 

329 & 331 PEARL STREET, 

FRANKLIN SQUARE. 

* 

1857. 
* 



















. 



PREFACE. 



THE domestic story of "Home Influence," and its Sequel, the present vol 
ume, were written in the early part of the year 1836, and the entire work 
was completed when its author was little above the age of nineteen ; and, 
although no portion of it was published till some years after its composition, 
but little alteration was made in the original plan. 

The labors of my dear child were unceasing, and from the hour when she 
could read, it may truly be stated that she learned to write. Her contribu- 
tions to the current literature of the day, her valuable works upon religious 
subjects, and others of a lighter character, most of which have been reprint- 
ed in other lands, all testify to a mind of no common stamp ; and here, in 
reply to numerous questions relative to her literary remains, I may state 
that Grace Aguilar has left many excellent works in manuscript, both in 
prose and verse, some of which may at a future day be presented to the 
public. 

I have been induced to publish " The Mother's Recompense," in compli- 
ance with the repeated solicitations of many friends ; but, in doing so, I feel 
it incumbent on me to state that, unlike its predecessor, it has not received 
the advantage of that correction which later years and ripened judgment 
would doubtless have cast around it. A long and fatal illness prevented its 
revision for the press, the circumstances of which will be found detailed in a 
short memoir accompanying the last edition of "Home Influence." The 
universal voice of praise which attended the publication of that work it was 
not permitted her to enjoy an all-wise Creator called her to himself. 

It was ever my dear child's wish to aid, by the example of her pen, the 
education of the heart. It was her desire, in the truthful exemplification of 
character, to point out to the youthful of her own sex the paths of rectitude 
and virtue. The same kindly love, the same heartfelt charity, the same 
spirit of devotion which breathes through every line in "Home Influence," 
will be found pervading the pages of the present work. 

If, then, the Home Education of the Hamilton Family be well traced and 
faithfully delineated in " Home Influence, a Tale for Mothers and Daugh- 
ters," its effect will be found illustrated in the " Mother's Recompense ;" 
there, as its dear author writes, will still further be portrayed the cares, 
anxieties, and ultimate reward of maternal love. 

SARAH AGUILAR. 

December. 1850. 



THE MOTHER'S RECOMPENSE, 



CHAPTER I. 

From Emmeline Hamilton to Mary Greville. 
London, January, 18. 

AT length, dearest Mary, I may write to you ; 
at length indulge my long-controlled wishes. 
My conscience has given me permission now, 
though I once thought I never could again. We 
parted in August, and it is now January ; and, ex- 
cept during our little tour, you have not had one 
line from me, but very many more than one from 
Caroline and Ellen. I used to wrong them, but 
I am glad I adhered to mamma's advice and my 
resolution, painful as it has been; for it did seem 
hard that I, who consider myself even more my 
dear Mary's own friend, should not address you 
when my sister and cousin did. And now to ex- 
plain this riddle, for though mamma has excused 
my silence to you, I am quite sure she has not 
told you the real truth. She would not expose 
my silly weakness, and therefore prepare your- 
self for a most humiliating confession, which will, 
in all probability, lower me ten degrees in your 
estimation. However, truth must be told, and 
BO it shall be with all the necessary regularity 
and precision. You know, almost better than 
any one else, how very much I disliked the 
thought of leaving dear happy Oakwood, and re- 
siding any part of the year in London. You 
often used to warn me, when I have thus spoken, 
against permitting such fancies to obtain too much 
dominion ; but I did not follow your advice, dear 
Mary, but indulged them till, of course, they be- 
came so heightened that the last month of our 
sojourn at Oakwood was embittered by the an- 
ticipation. I saw you thought me foolish, and I 
know that mamma and papa's plans could not be 
altered to please my fancy, and that my confess- 
ed distaste to them would give pain to both; 
therefore I concealed my dislike, but, instead of 
doing all I could to conquer it, encouraged every 
gloomy anticipation to the very utmost. I found, 
during our delightful tour through the south of 
England, I could enjoy myself, but still the 
thoughts of London, and masters, and strangers, 
and the fancy our style of living would be so dif- 
ferent in the metropolis to what it was at Oak- 
wood, and that I should not see nearly as much 
of mamma, all chose to corne, like terrifying 
specters, to scare away the present pleasure. 

We visited Oxford, although completely out 
of our way, in order that we might see the resi- 
dence of my brothers. There Percy's wild mirth 
and eloquent descriptions partly banished my ill 
humor, but as I neared London all my fancied 
evils returned to me again. When we first ar- 
rived, which was in September, this huge city 
was, comparatively speaking, a desert; for all 
the fashionables were out ruralizing. Mamma 
was not, I believe, sorry for this, for she wished 
us to have full six or seven months' hard study 
before she entered at all into society. Ellen and 



I, of course, will have more, but Caroline is to 
make her regular entrle in March or April, and 
therefore must be drilled accordingly. First-rate 
masters were instantly engaged ; indeed, papa 
had written to many before we arrived, that no 
time should be lost, and as almost all their pupils 
were from London, we had the choice of hours, 
which was very agreeable, although at that time 
I did not feel inclined to think any thing agree- 
able, being accustomed to no instruction save that 
bestowed by Miss Harcourt and mamma ; pro- 
fessors of music, drawing, French, Italian, Ger- 
man (which Caroline is seized with a violent 
fancy to acquire, and which I deign to learn, 
because I should like to read Klopstock in the 
Original), and even what I term a lady professor 
of embroidery, which Caroline has succeeded in 
tormenting mamma to let her have entre nous, 
it is only because she has taught Annie Grahame ; 
all these, my dear Mary, presented a most formi- 
dable array, and for the'first month I did not choose 
to profit by their instructions in the least. I gave 
full vent to all the dislike I felt to them. I en- 
couraged indolence to a degree that frequently 
occasioned a reproof from Miss Harcourt. I 
could not bear their mode of teaching ; the at- 
tention so many things required was in my pres- 
ent state a most painful exertion, and I almost 
made an inward determination to show mamma 
that all her endeavors were lost on me. I would 
not learn when every thing was so changed. 
Do not throw away my letter in despair of your 
friend, dearest Mary ; only read to the end, and 
perhaps my character may be in some measure 
redeemed. There was a weight on my spirits I 
could not, because I would not. remove. I be- 
came ill-tempered and petulant without cause ; 
before papa and mamma I tried to restrain it, 
but did not always succeed. Percy and Herbert 
both spoke to me on this unwarrantable change ; 
and I think almost for the first time in my life I 
saw Percy seriously angry with me, for I had 
even shown my irritation at his interference. I 
told him I had a right to act and feel as I pleased. 
Herbert looked sorry, and desisted in his reason- 
ings when he found I would not listen. Percy's 
evident irritation and the reproaches of my own 
conscience added not a little to my uncomforta- 
ble feelings, as you may suppose. I looked back 
to what I had been at Oakwood, and the con- 
trast of my past and present self really gave me 
much cause for misery. It was just before my 
brothers returned to college I wrote to you a 
long, very long letter, in which I gave more than 
enough vent to my silly, I should say sinful feel- 
ings. Several hours I had employed in its com- 
position, and to obtain these, neglected my exer- 
cises, etc., for my masters, and caused more than 
one for several days to make a formal complaint 
of my indolence and carelessness to Miss Har- 
court. Her remonstrances, I am ashamed to con- 
fess, only had the effect of increasing my ill tern 



THE MOTHER'S RECOMPENSE. 



per. Well; I concluded at length my epistle to 
jou, which, had you received it, would have been 
a trial of patience indeed ; for it consisted often 
or twelve closely-written pages, in which I had 
BO magnified my feelings of discontent and un- 
happiness, that any one must have fancied I had 
not one single blessing left. I was folding and 
preparing to seal it, when mamma entered my 
room. I must tell you that as yet I had not had 
one reproof from her lips, though I am quite sure 
I deserved it long before ; I used to see her look 
very grieved at any burst of petulance from me, 
but she had never spoken on the subject. I al- 
most trembled when she appeared, lor I knew 
that morning Miss Uarcourt had said she must 
inform her of Mons. Deville and Signor Rozzi's 
continued complaints. Without entering on that 
subject, however, she sat down by me, and with 
one of her own sweet smiles, which reproached 
me a great deal more than words, she asked me 
if I really were going to seal and send that long 
letter of confidence to you without having shown 
or told any part of it to her. She might well 
ask, dear Mary, for I had never written a line 
before which I had kept from her ; but my con- 
science told me she would not, could not ap- 
prove of this, and therefore I certainly did wish 
I could have sent it without telling her any thing 
about it. What deceit, too ! I hear you exclaim. 
Yes, dear Mary ; and before this tale of shame is 
over, you will see still more clearly how one fault 
makes many. I did not answer her question, but 
remained sulkily silent. 

"Will my Emmeline think me a harsh intruder 
on her private thoughts, if I say I can not let this 
letter go till I have seen at least some parts of its 
contents ?" she said very mildly, but so firmly I 
had no power to resist her; and when she ask- 
ed if I would not, as I always did, read her some 
portions, I answered, pettishly, if she read any 
she might as well read all. She looked deeply 
grieved, and my heart painfully smote me the 
moment the words were said; but I was too 
proud at that moment to show any marks of con- 
trition, and all the time she was reading I con- 
tinued working myself up to increased ill humor. 

"Are you indeed so very unhappy, my dear 
Emmeline?" were the only words mamma said, 
as she laid down the last sheet and looked in my 
face, with a tear trembling in her eye. I turn- 
ed away, for I felt too irritated and cross to give 
way to the emotion I always feel when I see 
her grieved, and I was determined not to an- 
swer. " And do you prefer," she continued, 
" seeking the sympathy of a young girl like your- 
self to that of a mother, who has always endeav- 
ored not only to sympathize with, but to soothe 
the sorrows of her children 7" Still I would not 
; and she added, mildly, "Do you not 
think, Kmmeline, Mary would have been better 
pleased if you had written to her rather in a 
lighter strain ? Do you not think, if you were to 
try and shake off these painful fancies, you could 
write another and less desponding letter one 
that I might give you my full and free permis- 
sion to send, which, sorry as I am to say it, I 
can not with this ?" 

Mild as were her words and manner, the im- 
port of what she said put the finishing stroke to 
my ill temper. " If I may not write as I like, I 
will not write at all," I passionately exclaimed ; 
and, seizing the sheet nearest to me, tore it 
Minder, and would have done the same with 
the rest, had not mainma gently laid her hand 



on my arm, uttering my name in an accent of 
surprise and sorrow ; my irritable and sinful feel- 
ings found vent in a mopt violent flood of tears. 

Will you not think, dearest Mary, I am writing 
of Caroline, and not of myself? Does it not re- 
semble the scenes of my sister's childhood ? Can 
you believe that this is an account of your Em- 
meline, whose sweetness of temper and gentle- 
ness of disposition you have so often extolled? 
But it was I. who thus foi-got myself I, who once 
believed nothing ever could make me passionate 
or angry; and in one minute I was both had 
excited myself till I became so even against my 
nature, and with whom? even my mother, mv 
kind, devoted mother, who has ever done so 
much for me, whom in my childhood, when I 
knew her worth much less "than I do now, I had 
never caused to shed a tear. Oh, Mary, I can not 
tell you what I felt the moment those passionate 
words escaped me. I may truly say I did not 
cry from anger, but from the most bitter, the most 
painful self-reproach. I think her usual penetra- 
tion must have discovered this, for if she had 
thought my tears were really those of passion, 
she would not, could not have acted as she did. 

She drew me gently to her, and kissed me 
without speaking. I threw my arms round her 
neck, and in a voice almost choked by sobs, im- 
plored her again and again to forgive me ; that I 
did not mean to answer her so disrespectfully ; 
that I knew I had become a very wicked girl, 
but that I really did feel very unhappy. For a 
few minutes she was silent, and I could see was 
struggling to suppress the tears my unusual con- 
duct had occasioned. I will make no apology, 
dearest Mary, for entering on such minute details ; 
for I know how you love my mother, and that 
every word she says is almost as precious to you 
as to her own children quite it can not be ; and 
I give you this account also, that you may know 
me as I am, and not imagine I am so free from 
faults as I know you once believed me. Oh, 
when I have looked back on that day, I have felt 
so painfully humiliated, I would gladly banish 
the recollection ; but it is better for me to remem- 
ber it, lest I should fancy myself better than I am. 
Every word she said in that gentle and persua- 
sive tone was engraved upon my heart, even as 
she spoke. She easily and fully convinced me 
of my sinfulness in thus permitting imaginary 
evils to make me so miserable ; for that they 
were but imaginary it was easy to discover. Not 
a single blessing could I say I had lost. All I 
loved were around me, in health and happiness 
every comfort of life was the same; and could 
it be possible, mamma said, that the mere de- 
parture from a favorite residence, and only for a 
few months, could render me so completely blind 
to the many blessings my heavenly Father had 
scattered around me. As she spoke, a film ap- 
peared removed from my eyes, and the enormity 
of my conduct stood for the first time in its true 
colors before me. I saw I knew how sinful I 
had been ; and bitterly I regretted that I had not 
confessed every feeling to mamma, instead of 
hiding them, as I had done, in my own heart, and 
brooding on them till it became a kind of pleas- 
ure to do so, and till fancied evils produced real 
ones. I wept bitterly while she spoke, for to 
find how completely I had created misery for 
myself was no agreeable matter of reflection, and 
my remorse was heightened when mamma said, 
"You have disappointed us not a little, rny dear 
Emmeline ; for I will no longer conceal from you 



THE MOTHER'S RECOMPENSE. 



that the little tour we took on our way to London 
was originally planned by your father and my- 
self, to reconcile you to a change of residence. 
We saw how much you regretted leaving Oak- 
wood ; nor did we wonder at it, for such feelings 
were most natural to one of your disposition; 
and therefore, instead of traveling direct, and sud- 
denly changing the scenes of our beautiful Dev- 
onshire for the confinement of this huge city, we 
hoped, by visiting various places, and giving you 
new objects of reflection, to lessen your regret, 
and make the change of residence less painfully 
abrupt." As well as I could, I expressed my sor- 
row and repentance, and promised to use every 
endeavor to atone for the past, and become all 
that she and papa wished me. 

" I believe you, my own Emmeline," my kind 
mother said, as she again kissed me, and her voice 
was no longer so sorrowfully grave as it had been 
at first. " I am sure, now you know all the pain 
you were inflicting on both your parents, every 
effort will be put in force to remove it." Did I 
deserve this speech, dear Mary? I do not think 
I did ; for I often saw by mamma's countenance 
I had grieved her, and yet made no effort to con- 
trol myself, and so I told her. She smiled her 
own sweet, dear smile of approbation, and thank- 
ing me for my candor, said, 

" If I say that by indulging in these gloomy 
fancies, and appearing discontented, and repining 
when so many blessings are around you, my Em- 
meline will be doing her mother a real injury, by 
rendering my character questionable, not only in 
the eyes of the world, but of my most valued 
friends, will she not do all in her power to be- 
come her own light-hearted sejf again ?" 

"Injuring your character, dearest mother!" I 
exclaimed, with much surprise ; " in what man- 
ner?" 

" I will tell you, my love," she replied; "there 
are many, not only of my acquaintances, but my 
friends, those whose opinions I really value, who 
believe I have been acting very wrongly all these 
years, in never having permitted you and Caro- 
line to visit London. They think by this strict 
retirement I have quite unfitted you both for the 
station your rank demands you should fill. That 
by constantly living alone with us, and never 
mingling in society, you have imbibed notions 
that, to say the least, may be old-fashioned and 
romantic, and which will make you both feel un- 
comfortable when you are introduced in London. 
These fears never entered my mind ; I wished 
you to receive ideas that were somewhat differ- 
ent to the generality of Fashion's dictates, and I 
did not doubt but that the uncomfortable feel- 
ing, against which the letters of my friends often 
warned me, would very quickly be removed. 
But since we have been here I do not wish to 
grieve you more, my dear Emmeline I must 
confess your conduct has been productive to me 
of the most painful self-reproach. I thought, in- 
deed, my friends were right, and that for years I 
had been acting on an injudicious plan, and that 
instead of my measures tending to future happi- 
ness, they were only productive of pain and mis- 
ery, which, had I done as other mothers of my 
station, might have been avoided." 

" Oh ! do not, pray do not think so," I exclaim- 
ed, for she had spoken so sorrowfully, I could 
not bear it. " I formed my own misery, dearest 
mother; you had nothing to do with it." 

" You think so now, my love," she answered, 
with her usual fondness; " but if my friends see 



you gloomy and sad, and evidently discontented, 
longing for pleasures which are not offered to you 
in London, only dwelling on visions of the past, 
and notions tending to the indulgence of romance, 
what will they think? will not my judgment be 
called in question? and, more, they know how 
very much I prefer a country to a London life, 
domestic pleasures to those of society, and they 
may imagine, and with some probability, that to 
indulge my selfish wishes, I have disregarded the 
real interests of my children." 

" They can not, they will not think so," I pas- 
sionately said. "They can never have known 
you who form such conclusions." Would you 
not have agreed with me, dear Mary, and can 
you not fancy the wretchedness mamma's words 
inflicted ? 

" My love," she replied, with a smile, " they 
will not fancy they do not know me ; they will 
rather imagine they must have been deceived in 
their opinion; that I am not what I may have 
appeared to them some few years ago. The char- 
acter of a mother, my Emmeline, is frequently 
judged of by the conduct of her children ; and 
such conclusions are generally correct, though, 
of course, as there are exceptions to every rule, 
there are to this, and many a mother may have 
been unjustly injured in the estimation of the 
world by the thoughtless or criminal conduct of 
a willful and disobedient child. I have been so 
completely a stranger to London society the last 
sixteen years, that my character and conduct de- 
pend more upon you and Caroline to be raised or 
lowered in the estimation of my friends and also 
of the world, than on any of the young people 
with whom you may mingle. On which, then, 
will my Emmeline decide to indulge in these 
gloomy fancies, and render herself ill both in 
health and temper, as well as exposing her moth- 
er to censure and suspicion ; or will she, spite of 
the exertion and pain it may occasion, shake off 
this lethargy, recall all her natural animation and 
cheerfulness, and with her own bright smile re- 
store gladness to the hearts of her parents?" 

I could not speak in answer to this appeal, dear 
Mary, but I clung weeping to mamma's neck. I 
never till that moment knew all my responsibil- 
ity, how much depended on my conduct ; but at 
that moment I inwardly vowed that never, never 
should my conduct injure that dear, devoted moth- 
er, who endeavored so fondly to soothe my grief, 
and check my bitter tears; who had done so 
much for me, who had devoted herself so com- 
pletely to her children. Mentally I resolved 
that nothing should be wanting on my part to 
render her character as exalted in the eyes of the 
world as it was in mine. I could not bear to 
think how ungratefully I had acted, and I cried 
till I made my head and mamma's heart ache; 
but I could not long resist her fond caresses, her 
encouraging words, and before she left me I could 
even smile. 

" And what am I to say," she said, with her 
usual playfulness, "of the sad complaints that I 
have received the last few days from Miss Har- 
court, that she does not know what has come to 
you, from Mons. Deville and Signor Rozzi ? Now 
what am I to say or do to prove that this Mad- 
emoiselle Emmeline does like Italian, and is not 
ill, as our polite professors fancy ? Must I lec- 
ture as I did when she was an idle little girl, and 
liked her play better than her studies ? Suppose 
these gentlemen are asked, which in all proba- 
bility they certainly are, what sort of pupils Mrs 



THE MOTHER'S RECOMPENSE. 



Hamilton's daughters are ; they ought to be some- 
thing out of the way, for we hear she has in- 
Btructtxl them principally herself. What answer 
will be given, what conclusions drawn, if you do 
not exert yourself and prove that you can learn 
as well, when you like, as your sister, and even 
quicker than your cousin?" 

I felt so ashamed, dearest Mary, that I con- 
cealed my face on her shoulder, and would not 
even look up to promise amendment, for I felt 
that I was not certain of myself; but when 
mamma spoke of my letter to you, and asked me 
if I still wished to send it, or if I would not write 
another, I made a desperate effort, and answered 
as well as I could, 

" I will not write again to Mary, dear mamma, 
till I have conquered all these silly and sinful 
feelings, and can write as usual ; and to be quite 
sure of myself, that I may not break my resolu- 
tion, I promise you that for six months I will not 
give myself the pleasure of addressing her ; and 
if, even at the end of that time, you do not think 
I have sufficiently recovered my senses, which 
certainly appear to have deserted me, you shall 
increase at your will my time of probation. I 
deserve some privation for my ungrateful con- 
duct, and the not writing to Mary now is the 
greatest I can think of." I tried to appear very 
heroic as I made this speech, but, with all my 
efforts, I completely failed. Mamma looked at 
me a moment in surprise, but then, with more 
than usual fondness, she strained me to her heart, 
and I felt a tear fall on my cheek. 

" My own sweet child, my darling Emmeline!" 
she exclaimed, " I did not expect this offered 
sacrifice, but I will accept it, my own love, and 
let its pain be soothed to your affectionate heart 
by the knowledge that, in making it, you have 
given me the purest, most delicious sense of 
pleasure you could bestow. We will not say six 
months," she added, more playfully, "we will 
see what the middle or end of January brings. 
You will then still have nearly four months to re- 
deem your character. I have not the slightest 
doubt that even before that period my Emmeline 
will be herself." Oh, Mary, I felt so very happy 
as she thus spoke, that I thought I must find it 
very easy to conquer myself, but I was mistaken, 
painfully mistaken; I had encouraged despond- 
ency and gloom for so long a period, that it re- 
quired every exertion, in the very least, to sub- 
due it. I had chosen to waste my time, and be in- 
attentive to all the means of improvement which 
were offered me, and to command my attention 
sufficiently to regain the good opinion of our sage 
professors was most disagreeably difficult ; but I 
was no longer afraid to encounter mamma's sor- 
rowful or reproving glance, as I had been be- 
fore, and her fond encouragement and the marks 
of approval which both she and papa bestowed, 
when I could not but feel I had done little to de- 
serve them, lightened the labor of my task, and, 
by causing me to wish earnestly to deserve their 
kindness, increased my efforts ; and at length, 
dearest Mary, these miserable feelings so com- 
pletely departed from me, that I was surprised 
to perceive how very nearly I could be as hap- 
py in London as at dear Oakwood ; quite as hap- 
py is impossible, because I feel more and more 
how very much I prefer a quiet, domestic life in 
the country to London and society. You will 
perhaps smile, as mamma does, and say I am 
not introduced yet, and then I may change my 
mind ; but I do not think I shall. She prefers 



the countiy, so it will not br vorv strange if 1 
should; but -when I see how completely, and 
yet how cheerfully she has given up her favorite 
residence and employments for the interests and 
happiness of her children, I feel ashamed at the 
egregious selfishness which has been mine. Oh, 
Mary, when shall I ever be like mamma? when 
can I ever be worthy of half, nay, one quarter of 
that respectful admiration which is bestowed 
upon her, even by those whose principles and 
conduct are directly opposite ? 

In her conversations with me, she had spoken 
more of the opinion of the world than she ever 
did at Oakwood, and one day, venturing to no- 
tice it as being contrary to that which she so 
carefully instilled, that to God and our conscience 
we should alone be answerable for our conduct, 
she answered, with a smile, 

" I have been long expecting this remark, my 
dear Emmeline, and I have endeavored to be 
prepared with an answer. To our Father in 
heaven and to our own conscience we must still 
look for our guide in life ; that not in one thing 
must we transgress the love and duty we owe 
our Maker, or disregard the warning or reproach- 
es of our hearts ; but still, mingling in the world, 
as it is undoubtedly our duty to do for, as I have 
often told you, we do not live for ourselves, but 
for others we must have due regard in minor 
things to the opinions of those with whom we 
associate. When a woman has once set up for 
an Independent when, scorning the opinion of 
the world, she walks forth conscious in her own 
integrity and virtue, though no stain may have 
sullied her conduct or name, though she may be 
innately amiable and good, yet every gentler fe- 
male will shrink from such a character, and 
tremble lest they should become like her. Wom- 
en are dependent beings; in Infinite Wisdom it 
was thus ordained, and why should we endeavor 
to be otherwise ? When once we set up a stand- 
ard for ourselves, we have thrown aside our sur- 
est safeguard, and exposed ourselves to censure 
and suspicion. When the ordinances of society 
do not interfere with the higher principle of our 
lives, they should be obeyed, and in doing so we 
are following up the dictates of true religion, 
by doing our duty as members of a community, 
as children of one common Father, which, if we 
stand selfishly apart, we can not do. I speak 
more of the opinion of the world," mamma then 
continued, " to you than either to your sister or 
your cousin. Caroline I would rather check in 
her perhaps too great regard for admiration ; and 
Ellen is at present too young, and in much too 
delicate health, to go out with me as much as 
you will, even before you are what is termed 
introduced ; besides which, her natural reserve 
and timidity banish all fears on that account for 
her. But for you, Emmeline, I do sometimes 
feel fearful that, in the indulgence of uncontrolled 
feeling, you will forget you are not quite such 
an independent being as you were at Oakwood. 
Many of your ideas are quite contrary to those 
generally entertained by several with whom you 
may associate; and I sometimes dread that by 
their unchecked expression, or the avowed de- 
termination never to think as your companions 
do that you hate such confined ideas, or some 
such thing, which," and she smiled, "if I know 
my Emmeline rightly, is not at all unlikely you 
may be exposing yourself to suspicion and dis- 
like. I feel quite sure you never will willfully 
offend, or that you will really deserve such cen- 



THE MOTHER'S RECOMPENSE. 



sure : all I wish is that you will be a little more 
guarded and controlled in your intercourse with 
strangers here than you ever were in the happy 
halls of Oak wood." 

I did not answer, my dear Mary ; for I do not 
know why, but there was something in her words 
that caused my eyes to fill with tears. I think 
it was because it seemed such a painful task to 
maintain such a continued control over my words 
and feelings, and mamma, as usual, divined the 
cause of my sadness, even before I could define 
it myself. 

" Do not look so very sad, my sweet girl," she 
said so fondly, that, like a simpleton, I cried the 
more. " I do not wish to see you changed, how- 
ever different you may be to others. I do not 
wish to chill one feeling in this affectionate little 
heart, nor check one burst of enthusiasm. Your 
character has been and is too great a source of 
unalloyed pleasure to your mother, my Emme- 
line ; it would be misery indeed to see it in any 
way changed, though I do preach control so very 
much," she continued, more playfully, but with 
that same fond affection which, while it made 
me cry, appeared to soothe every painful emo- 
tion. "We shall not always be in society, Em- 
meline ; corne to me as of old, and tell me every 
thought and feeling, and all that has given you 
pain or pleasure. With me, dearest, there must- 
be no control, no reserve ; if there be the least 
appearance of either, you will inflict more pain 
on my heart than from your infancy you have 
ever done, for I shall think my own counsels have 
alienated from me the confidence of my child." 

I never shall forget the impressive sadness 
with which she spoke these words, dearest Mary, 
and, clinging to her, I declared, and with truth, 
as long as I might speak, and think, and feel with- 
out control when with her, I would be all, all she 
wished in society that I never could be unhap- 
py; and to be reserved with her, I felt sure I 
never, never could. She embraced me with the 
utmost tenderness, and banished all my remain- 
ing sadness -by the earnest assurance that she be- 
lieved me. 

What a long letter have I written to you, my 
dearest friend ; will you not say I have atoned 
for my long silence ? If I have not atoned to 
you, I have at least gratified myself; for you know 
not how very often I longed, after such conver- 
sations as I have recounted, to sit down and write 
them all to you, as I had promised, when I could 
no longer tell in speech all my kind mother's in- 
structions. 

I do not make any apology for writing so much 
of her and myself, for I know to you it is unnec- 
essary. I tried to write all she said, that you 
may benefit by it likewise, and in doing so I as- 
sure you I give you the sincerest proof of my 
affection ; for to no one but my own Mary have 
I thus related the precious conversations I had 
alone with mamma. I know no one but you 
whom I deem worthy of them. How I wish, in 
return, you could solve a riddle for me. Why do 
I fear mamma so much, when I love her so very 
dearly ? When I do or even think any thing that 
my conscience tells rne is wrong, or at least not 
right, I absolutely tremble when I meet her eye, 
though she may know nothing for which to con- 
demn me. I have never heard her voice in an- 
ger, but its sorrowful tones are far more terrible. 
I think sometimes, if I had been in Ellen's place 
eighteen months ago, I should have been as ill 
from fear alone, as she was from a variety of emo- 



tions, poor girl. .Yet why should I feel thus ? 
Caroline does not even understand rne when 1 
speak of such an emotion. She says she is al- 
ways very sorry when she has displeased mam- 
ma ; but fear is to her unknown we two cer- 
tainly are complete opposites. I think Ellen's 
character resembles mine much more than my 
sister's does. But you will like to know how my 
time of probation is thus shortened ; for I should 
have kept my resolution and waited the six 
months, pain as it was, but one day, about a week 
ago, mamma chanced to enter our study at the 
very instant that the poor man, who so politely 
believed Mademoiselle Emmeline was too ill to 
appreciate his lessons, was praising me up to the 
j skies for my progress ; that same day Signer Roz- 
zi had informed mamma, with all the enthusiasm 
of his nation, that he was delighted to teach a 
young lady who took such pleasure in the study 
of poetry, and so capable of appreciating the 
beauties of the Italian poets. " In truth, mad- 
am," he said, " she should be a poet herself, and 
the Temple of the Muses graced with her pres- 
ence." There's for you, Mary ! But, jokes apart, 
I do love Italian ; it is, it must be the natural lan- 
guage of poetry ; the sentiments are so exquisite- 
ly lovely, the language, the words, as if framed 
to receive them music dwells in every line. 
Petrarch, Tasso, Dante, are all open to me now, 
and I luxuriate even in the anticipation of the 
last but how I am digressing. That night mam- 
ma followed me to my room as I retired to bed, 
and smiling, almost laughing, at the half terror 
my countenance expressed, for I fancied she had 
come to reprove the wild spirits I had indulged 
in throughout the dav, she said, " Is not this little 
head half turned with the flattery it has received 
to-day?" 

" No," I instantly replied. " It is only the ap- 
probation of one or two that can put me in any 
danger of such a misfortune." 

"Indeed," she answered, again smiling; "I 
fancied it was the fine speeches you had been 
hearing to-day that had excited such high spirits, 
but I am glad it is not ; otherwise, I might have 
hesitated to express what I came here to do rny 
approbation of my Emmeline's conduct the last 
few months." 

I felt my color rising to my very temples, dear 
Mary, for I did not expect this, but I endeavored 
to conceal all I felt by seizing her hand, and im- 
ploring her, in a serio-comic, semi-tragic tone, not 
to praise me, for she and papa were the two 
whose praises would have the effect on me she 
feared. 

" But you must endeavor to keep your head 
steady now," she continued, "because papa sends 
a packet to Oakwood next week, and a long let- 
ter for Mary from my Emmeline must accompany 
it; her patience, I think, must be very nearly ex- 
hausted, and I know if you once begin to write, 
a frank will not contain all you will have to say, 
will it ?" she added, with an arch but such a dear 
smile. 

All my high spirits seemed for the moment to 
desert me, and I could not answer her, except to 
cover her hand with kisses. I have told you 
what she said in the way of reproof and advice, 
my dear Mary, but I can not coolly write all she 
said as encouragement and praise ; it was much 
more than I deserved, and all, therefore, that I 
can do, is to continue my endeavors to feel one 
day rather more to merit it. I have risen every 
morning an hour earlier, that I might tell you all 



10 

I wished without encroaching on my allotted 
hours of study ; for I hope you will not imagine 
I have written all this in one or two, or even 
three sittings ; nnd now do I not deserve a letter 
almost as long from you ? If you do not thus re- 
ward me, dread my vengeance, and write soon, 
for I long to have a letter from you ; of you I 
have heard often but of and from, though they 
may be both brothers of the family of the prepo- 
sitions, are very different in meaning. I have 
not written one word of Caroline or Ellen. Am 
I not incurably egotistical ? The former declares 
she is sure you will have no time to read a letter 
from her, with such a volume as mine, and Ellen 
says >!IL- has no time by this opportunity. 1 told 
her she ought to get up as I did ; she blushed, 
looked confused enough to awaken my attention, 
and then said she supposed she was too lazy; 
iind now 1 really must say farewell. Mind you 
.11 concerning yourself and your dear moth- 
er, to whom present my very loving respects; 
and as for yourself, dear Mary, let this long letter 
prove the sincere affection and perfect confidence 
of your giddy friend, EMMELINE. 

p.S. No young lady can write without a post- 
script. Mamma has absolutely had the patience 
to read through my letter, and except that she 
said so much of her was certainly needless, she 
approves of it almost as much as she disapproved 
of my other, which she has just compelled me to 
read. What a tissue of absurdity it contained 
worse, it is sinful. I have had the pleasure of 
burning it, and I hope and trust all my silly re- 
pinin"s are burned with it. Once more, adieu. 

E. H. 

From Mrs. Hamilton to Miss Gremllt. 
I can not, my dear Mary, suffer Emmeline's 
long letter to be forwarded to you without a few 
lines from me, to remove all lingering fears 
which you may perhaps have had, that I do not 
approve of your correspondence. Believe me, 
my dear girl, that to see you the chosen friend 
of my giddy but warm-hearted Emmeline is still, 
as it has ever been from your childhood, a source 
of real pleasure both to Mr. Hamilton and my- 
self. Female friendships are, I know, often re- 
garded with contempt, not only by men, but fre- 
quently by the sterner principles of our own sex ; 
they are deemed connections of folly ; that the 
long letters which pass between young ladies set 
down by the world as intimate friends, are but 
relations of all the petty incidents they may hear 
or see. Such letters are also considered tending 
to weaken the mind and produce false sensibility, 
by the terms of affection they force into their 
service the magnified expression of momentary 
and fleeting emotions. That such may some- 
times be the tenor of some young people's corre- 
spondence, I do not pretend to deny, and when 
that is the case, and such letters are treasured up 
in secret and requested to be burned, lest any 
eves save those for whom they are intended 
should chance to encounter them, then, indeed, 
I too might disapprove of similar intimacies, and 
it was to prevent this I would not permit Emme- 
line to send the first letter to which she has al- 
luded. Every feeling was magnified and distort- 
ed, till you must have fancied had not the real 
cause been told that some very serious evil had 
happened, or wns impending over her. I did 
not in the least doubt but that you would have 
used all your influence to combat with and con- 
quer this sinful repining ; but still I thought your 



THE MOTHER'S RECOMPENSE. 



very replies might have called forth renewed 
ebullitions of sensibility, and thus in the frame of 
iniud which she was then indulging, your hinted 
reproaches, however gentle, might have been 
turned and twisted into a decay of friendship or 
some such display of sensitiveness, which would 
certainly have removed your affection and injur- 
ed herself. When, therefore, she so frankly ac- 
knowledged her error, and offered to sacrifice 
the pleasure I knew it was to write to you, I ac- 
cepted it, spite of the pain which I saw she felt, 
and which to inflict on her, you may believe, gave 
her, and now I certainly feel rewarded for all 
the self-denial we both practiced. Emmeline is 
again the same happy girl she was at Oak wood, 
although I can perceive there is nothing, or at 
best but very little, here that can compensate for 
the rural pleasures she has left. I do not wonder 
at this, fur in such feelings I trace those which, 
from my girlhood, were my own. I hope, there- 
fore, my dear young friend, that nothing in future 
will check your intercourse with Emmeline, but 
that your correspondence may long continue a 
source of pleasure to both of you. I love to see 
the perfect confidence with which Emmeline has 
written ; it proves she regards you as you deserve 
to be regarded, as indeed her friend, not her 
companion in frivolity and sentiment; and be- 
lieve me, you may thus have it in your power 
to improve and strengthen her perhaps rather 
too yielding character. The manner in which, 
through the mercy of our compassionate God, you 
have been enabled, young as you are, to bear 
your trials, which are indeed severe, has inspired 
her with a respect for your character, which the 
trifling difference in your ages might otherwise 
have prevented, and therefore your letters will 
be received with more than ordinary interest, 
and your good example, rny dear girl, may do 
much toward teaching her to bear those evils of 
life from which we can not expect her to be ex- 
empt, with the same patient resignation that 
characterizes you. Write to her, therefore, as 
often as you feel inclined, and do no*, I beg, sup- 
press the thoughts her candid letter may have 
produced. I will not ask you to read her con- 
fession charitably, for I know you will, and I as- 
sure you she has completely redeemed her fault. 
The struggle was a very severe one to subdue 
the depression she had encouraged so long ; but 
she has nobly conquered, and 1 do not fear such 
feelings of discontent ever again obtaining too 
great an ascendency. 

Tell your dear mother, with my affectionate 
love, that she will be pleased to hear Ellen's 
health is improving, and has not as yet suffered 
in the least from the winter or the more confined 
air of London, which I almost dreaded might be 
baneful to one so delicate as she was when we 
left Oakwood. I think our little tour did her 
much good, though the idea of the exertion at 
first appeared painful. She is ever cheerful 
though I sometimes wish she would be more 
lively, and can not help fancying, notwithstand 
ing her melancholy as a child was remarkable 
that her sufferings, both bodily and mental, thf 
last eighteen months, have made her the very 
pensive character she is. I had hoped before 
that unfortunate affair she was becoming as ani 
mated and light-hearted as my Emmeline, but 
as that can not be, I endeavor to be thankful foi 
the health and quiet, and, I trust, happiness she 
now enjoys. We receive, every opportunity, 
from Edward very satisfactory and pleasing ^t 






THE MOTHER'S RECOMPENSE. 



11 



ters, which, as you will believe, tend not a little 
to lessen the anxiety of both his sister and my- 
self. His new captain is a far sterner character 
and even more rigid in discipline than was Sir 
Edward Manly ; but our young sailor writes that 
this is rather a source of pleasure to him, for it 
will be the greater merit to win his regard, 
which he has resolved to use every endeavor to 
maintain. 

I must not forget, in thus writing of my fami- 
ly, to mention that Herbert never writes home 
without inquiring after his favorite Mary, and if 
his sisters do not answer such queries very par- 
ticularly, they are sure in the next letter to ol> 
tain as severe a reproach as can flow from his 
peri. Will you not return such little tokens of 
remembrance, my dear girl? Herbert has only 
lately changed the term by which in his boy- 
hood he has so often spoken of you his sister 
Mary; and surely friends in such early child- 
hood may continue so in youth. The season has 
not, and will not yet commence here. Caroline 
is anticipating it with a delight which I could 
wish less violent. I certainly never observed 
the very striking contrast between my daughters 
as 1 do now, though I always knew they were 
very unlike. You, dear Mary, would, I think, 
even more than Emmeline, shrink from the life 
which for a few months in every year we must 
HOW lead, if we would do our duty in the station 
we are ordained to fill. I think one season will 
prove to Caroline that it is not in gayety she will 
iiod true and perfect happiness, and if it do so, 
1 shall join in society next year with a less trem- 
bling heart. And now, adieu, my dear young 
friend. If by Emmeline's long silence you have 
ever permitted yourself to entertain a suspicion 
that I did not approve of your correspondence, 
let this letter from me prove your error; and re- 
member, if ever sorrow in your young yet check- 
ered life should assail you, and you would con- 
ceal them from your revered parent, fearing to 
increase her griefs, write to me without hesita- 
tion, without fear, and I will answer you to the 
best of my ability; for sympathy, believe me, 
you will never appeal to me in vain, and if you 
require advice, I will give it you with all the af- 
fection I feel toward you. God bless you, my 
dear girl. Yours most affectionately, 

E. HAMILTON. 

From Emmeline Hamilton to Mary Greville. 

A month, actually a whole month has elapsed, 
dearest Mary, since I wrote to you last, and not 
a line from you. Granting it was nearly a week 
on the way, three weeks are surely long enough 
for you to have written an answer, when I en- 
treated you to write so soon. What can be the 
cause of this silence? I will not upbraid you, 
because I tremble when I thi